Chelidonium majus (Greater Celandine)

Scientific Name

Chelidonium majus L.

Common Names

Celandine, Great Celandine, Greater Celandine, Tetterwort, Nipplewort, Swallowwort


Chelidonium cavaleriei, Chelidonium dahuricum, Chelidonium grandiflorum, Chelidonium haematodes, Chelidonium laciniatum, Chelidonium murale, Chelidonium olidum, Chelidonium quercifolium, Chelidonium ruderale, Chelidonium umbelliferum

Scientific Classification

Family: Papaveraceae
Subfamily: Papaveroideae
Tribe: Chelidonieae
Genus: Chelidonium


Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Late spring to summer


Chelidonium majus is a perennial herb that grows up to 3.9 feet (1.2 m) tall. Leaves are pinnate with lobed and wavy-edged margins and up to 11.8 inches (30 cm) long. Flowers consist of four yellow petals, each up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long with two sepals. They appear from late spring to summer in umbelliform cymes of about four flowers.

Chelidonium majus - Greater Celandine

How to Grow and Care

Greater Celandine will grow in almost any soil except waterlogged, but it does like a reasonable amount of water. Ideal plant for part or full shade, but it will grow in full sun in lower zones (6 and 7) provided it has moisture. Prefers a rich woodland soil in semi-shade with decent moisture. It is an excellent choice for growing on partially shaded walls or in rock gardens, provided there is a pocket of soil to establish its roots. It is a short-lived perennial, but it will self-seed in suitable locations, sometimes aggressively, and take over thin woodland areas if left alone.

Germination can be slow and erratic, with some seeds taking up to twelve months to sprout. It can be sown in place in early spring or late fall. If choosing this approach, keep weeds in the area to a minimum to allow seeds time to germinate and plants to establish. Once the first ones are established, they often self-seed and proliferate, but this can take several years to achieve. Seeds and also be started in pots. See more at How to Grow and Care for Greater Celandine.


Native to Europe and western Asia and introduced widely in North America.


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