Delaware Wildflowers • Months
Ranunculaceae — Buttercup family
When I first saw this plant, in 1998, it was relatively uncommon. I had trouble finding a name for it; it wasn't listed in my field guides.
Now it is among the worst of the invasive plants in Delaware.
White Clay Creek State Park -- Pump House Road
This plant covers acres along streams in Delaware, including the Brandywine Creek floodplain. Note the Virginia bluebells in the foreground. It's ideal habitat for both plants, but the bluebells can't compete.
Brandywine Creek State Park
The leaves emerge in late winter and form a dense mat.
The plant resembles the rare native marsh marigold
, but three sepals confirm that it's celandine.
A single plant.
The plant spreads by growing new plants from tubers...
Middle Run Valley Natural Area
...and from bulblets that grow in the leaf axils.
The leaves die in late spring, leaving the bulblets free to be washed downstream or spread in mud on shoes and bike tires.
White Clay Creek State Park -- Creek Road