lesser celandine, fig buttercup USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: RAFI
Ficaria verna Huds.
Synonym(s): lesser celandine, pilewort

Appearance
Ficaria verna is a short (up to 12 in. [30.5 cm]), herbaceous perennial that invades forests throughout the East, Midwest and Pacific Northwest regions of the United States.
Foliage
The basal leaves are dark green, shiny, kidney- to heart-shaped and vary greatly in size.
Flowers
Flowering occurs in March and April, when showy, bright yellow, eight-petaled flowers develop on stalks above the leaves. Flowers are up to 3 in. (7.6 cm) wide.
Fruit
The fruit are achenes that are pubescent. It also reproduces with bulblets and tubers.
Ecological Threat
Ficaria verna invades moist, forested floodplains. It is a spring ephemeral and grows vigorously, creating dense mats that exclude all other vegetation. It is a threat particularly to the native forest spring ephemerals that have to compete for light and space with this invasive. The plant is native to Europe and was first introduced into the United States as an ornamental. It is currently sold and widely planted as an ornamental.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources