Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)

Vlacherna, Epirus

Vlacherna, Epirus
Ranunculus ficaria or commonly known as lesser celandine or fig buttercup (νεραγκούλα) belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. The common name celandine has its root greek chelidonia meaning swallows. It is said that the flower starts blooming when swallows come and fades away when they returned. The family name Ranunculacea means little frog in latin and probably it is named so because many species can be found near water like frogs.
The leaves are dark green and lustrous and form a rosette. They are heart or kindey shaped and can have toothed edges. Each rosette gives a bright yellow flower. It prefers damp places. In Greece it can be seen blooming from the beginning of January.
Throughout the history it has been used to treat hemorrhoids and ulcers. Because of the high content the early leaves have in vitamin C it has been used to prevent scurvy.
Celandine has inspired many writers and poets to write about it. Amongst them are J.R. Tolkien who describes the spring in Ithilien in Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis mentions it in Narnia. Moreover it has William Wordsworth and Edward Thomas have dedicated poems to it.


marijke said...

When the buttercup arrives spring is there.
Have a nice sunday

CameraCruise said...

Have a great Sunday.
Greetings Mette