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celandine

[sel-uh n-dahyn, -deen] /ˈsɛl ənˌdaɪn, -ˌdin/
noun
1.
Also called greater celandine, swallowwort. an Old World plant, Chelidonium majus, of the poppy family, having yellow flowers.
2.
Also called lesser celandine. an Old World plant, Ranunculus ficaria, of the buttercup family, having fleshy, heart-shaped leaves and solitary yellow flowers.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English selandyne, variant of celydon < Latin chelīdonia greater celandine, chelīdonium lesser celandine < Greek chelīdónion, derivative of chelīdṓn swallow; said to be so called because it blooms when the swallows return in spring
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for celandine
  • The swallow flies to its celandine, and the toad hastens to its plantain.
  • There are few literature reports concerning the ecology and control of lesser celandine.
  • The vivid yellow, rounded petals of celandine poppies can brighten any spring outing.
British Dictionary definitions for celandine

celandine

/ˈsɛlənˌdaɪn/
noun
1.
either of two unrelated plants, Chelidonium majus (greater celandine) or Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine) See greater celandine, lesser celandine
Word Origin
C13: earlier celydon, from Latin chelīdonia (the plant), from chelīdonius of the swallow, from Greek khelidōn swallow; the plant's season was believed to parallel the migration of swallows
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for celandine

any of several distinct flowering plants of similar appearance, mostly members of the poppy family (Papaveraceae). The greater celandine (Chelidonium majus) is native to deciduous woods of Europe and Asia and is grown as a garden wildflower. Once a valued plant of the Old World herbalist for its reputed power to remove warts, it was formerly known as wartweed. Its orange-coloured sap contains alkaloids that are possibly poisonous. The plants are herbaceous perennials with coarsely toothed divided leaves and four-petaled yellow blooms about 2.5 cm (1 inch) across. Celandine produces narrow, thin seed pods with many small, shiny, black seeds that have a white appendage. The appendage is attractive to ants, which aid in seed dispersal.

Learn more about celandine with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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