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Moist, rich woods.
Western PA west to southern MI and WI, south to TN and AR.
Rhizomatous perennial to 50 cm; sap saffron yellow. Leaves deeply lobed; basal leaves several on long petioles, thin, oblong to ovate, pinnately divided almost to the midvein into 5-7 lobed or toothed segments; cauline leaves 1 pair, smaller. Inflorescence terminal, umbelliform, few-flowered; flowers on erect pedicels 2-5 cm long; sepals 2, hairy; petals 4, bright yellow, 2-3 cm; style 1, well developed, about 1 cm. Fruit a bristly, ellipsoid capsule, 2-3 cm.
Flowers April to May
Wetland indicator: Upland
Resembles Chelidonium majus L., a somewhat weedy introduction from Eurasia. Chelidonium majus has smaller flowers, a short style, and an elongate-linear, glabrous, unilocular fruit 2-5 cm long.
Chelidonium majus - Habit
Chelidonium majus - flowers and fruit
Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of
Northeastern United States
and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY
Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
Michael Hough © 2009