The greater celandine is a showy perennial or biennial in the poppy family that bears yellow flowers and gray-green leaves. Chelidonium majus is native to rocky slopes and woodlands in Europe and western Asia. Plants typically grow in a clump to 12-24” tall. Loose umbels of 4-petaled, 1-inch wide, yellow flowers bloom May to August. Flowers are followed by smooth, slender seed capsules (to 2” long) that split open when ripe to release tiny seeds. Lobed to deeply pinnatifid gray-green leaves (5-10” long) appear on green stems. The plant has a long history of herbal/medicinal usage. Easily grown in medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist but not wet soils. Will also grow in full sun, particularly in cool summer climates. Tolerates a wide range of soils including poor ones.
The seeds can be sown on the ground in the spring or fall or they can be grown in pots at any time of the year. They germinate best when planted in the shade.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in part shade or shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.