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Posted on: May 5, 2023

Weed of the Month: Lesser Celandine/Fig Buttercup

Lesser Celandine

Lesser celandine, also known as fig buttercup, is a relatively new invasive to Minnesota and an invasive to watch for in the spring. Lesser Celandine has a very short lifecycle, growing as soon as the snow melts, and then dying back to its root ball by June. This early invasive can begin blooming as early as March. Be cautious to identify this invasive accurately, as it looks similar to the native Marsh Marigold, which often blooms at the same time. Fig buttercup is generally smaller than the native marsh marigold and forms dense mats, in contrast with the clump-forming marsh marigold.

Lesser Celandine, or Fig Buttercup, spreads underground via tuberous roots and aerial bulbils. This makes it difficult to control effectively, so finding and controlling new infestations during its short growth window is key. To prevent the spread of this invasive:

  • Identify emerging populations early. Small populations can be hand-pulled effectively if care is taken to remove all the tuberous roots.
  • Larger populations can be controlled with herbicide. Be sure to follow all directions and precautions on the label if using this method.

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