Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weed or Not? (Edited) Weed! Lesser Celadine


Ok, fellow gardeners - is this a weed or not? I have a few of them coming up in my flower beds and I'm not sure if they are a friend or foe.

They are growing up within the flowers I got from another gardener - so it could be an actual plant that just got dug up alongside the rest they were giving to me...

Tell me if you know! Should I pull it or leave it?

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Thank you everyone for the help! For awhile there I was convinced I had a great little wildflower (Marsh Marigold) - but thankfully a lovely reader (BerryBird) alerted me to the look-alike invasive species Lesser Celadine.

The most identifying factor between the two are the roots. Lesser Celadine have roots with many tubers and Marsh Marigold has no tubers on the roots.

Here's a helpful fact sheet:
ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/DE/publications/Mistaken_Identity_Final.pdf

6 comments:

Blarney said...

Are your flower beds wet or on the damp side? I believe these are called buttercups in the 'country' slang. Typically they are found in wetland areas, are only around in the spring and can be used as a ground cover. If they are buttercups the answer to your weed question is 'that's in the eye of the beholder.' Buttercups were my Grandmother's favorite spring flower because they told us spring was here in the country. Then again I may just be a few cups low on the coffee this am too. ;)

Guineapig Diary said...

I am no expert but I believe Blarney is spot on!

Stacy said...

The leaves on the "buttercups" are different than this plant and this flower has more petals.

But you definitely helped me out - after a little more research I think I've figured it out!

It's a Marsh Marigold! http://www.thisgardenisillegal.com/2007/03/marsh-marigold-overlooked-early-spring.html

It looks like it is in the same family as the "buttercup" wildflowers!

I won't pull - I don't mind wildflowers! :)

BerryBird said...

Stacy, it actually looks more like lesser celandine or fig buttercup(Ranunculus ficaria) to me, which is closely resembles the native marsh marigold. However, fig buttercup is non-native and quite invasive in some areas. I'm not sure if it is agressive in your area or not, but you might want to find out. It was first introduced for gardening, because it is pretty, but is wreaking havoc in some places. If you do pull it, be sure to dispose of it properly so it doesn't keep spreading.

This page has some tips for telling the two apart:

http://ontariowildflowers.com/mondaygarden/article.php?id=159

Stacy said...

Ah, sigh - so it's true. :( I went outside gloves on and shovel in hand hoping to dig up this plant and not find any tiny bulbs on the roots - letting me know that it was really marsh marigold and not the invasive weed.

But alas, there were tiny bulbs - so I just spend the last few hours ripping them out - thankfully there was only 4 or 5 plants. I will have to watch out this season if it tries to come back. :(

Guess this is what you get sometimes when you get plants from a friend. :(

Momma Val said...

Oh bummer! Should have figured if it grows freely and spreads and it appeared out of nowhere, most likely a weed. Glad that BB got the info you needed to figure it out.

On another note, I'm all excited cause this year is the first year since I planted my bergenia is finally flowering since I planted it 2 summers ago :)