Freitag, 13. Mai 2011

Plant of the Day (May 13th, 2011) - Chelidonium majus L.

Chelidonium majus L. is a member of the Papaverceae, the same Family, which the poppy (Genus: Papapver) belongs to. It's the only species of the monotypic genus Chelidonium. In English the species is known as “Greater celandine” in Germany as “Schöllkraut”.

C. majus - habitus

As you can see, it's a medium high herb (to 70 centimetres high). The leaves has as spiral leaf-pattern and are pinnate. Each Leaflet is irregularly hand-shaped or indented. The stem is hairy and branched rich. The whole plant has a showy, orange juice in it. This juice is thick and also very sticky. It is also slightly toxic and used as insect protection.

C. majus - leaf

C. majus - here you can see the
orange juice of the plant

The flowers have four yellow petals and two green sepals. Two to eight flowers sit together in a fake umbel. The fruits are long capsules. Be careful, because they look very similar to the pods of the Brassicaceae family, so you can easily think, that C. majus is also a plant of this family.

C. majus - flower in detail

 C. majus - Fruits

C. majus is native to the temperate broads of Europe and Asia but can also be found as neophyte in North America. It grows at ruderal wastelands but even at walls or roads and likes soils with a high content of nitrogen.

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