Species of the day: Lesser Celandine

23 March 2020 | Posted in James Duncan
Species of the day: Lesser Celandine
© James Duncan

By James Duncan

Leaning & Engagement Officer

Now that astronomical spring is finally here, the days are longer than the nights and nature responds with vastly increased activity - bird migration is well underway, insects are emerging and buds are blooming. I thought I'd celebrate (within COVID-19 reason) by finding a daily species to photograph, share and enjoy. These will be something that everybody can get out and find close to home.

The Lesser Celandine (Ficaria Verna) really is a flower that marks the beginning of spring, being one of the very first British wildflowers to appear. It's a flower of damp, shaded places and you'll find it carpeting woodlands, often growing with Bluebells. This is a flower so loved by William Wordsworth (his favourite, in fact) that he wrote no less than three poems about it. Here's an excerpt...

"There is a flower, the lesser celandine
That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain
And, the first moment that the sun may shine
Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again!"

Lesser Celandine 3

Lesser Celandine © James Duncan

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