Here it comes. Lesser Celandine

There have recently been increasing outbreaks in our area of a particularly pernicious weed, Lesser Celandine.  If you’ve visited Rock Creek Park, Northwest Branch, Sligo Creek or other urban stream areas in the last few weeks, you’ve likely seen this groundcover with the pretty yellow flowers.  But don’t let if fool you.  Lesser Celandine is an formidable competitor that’s a real challenge to manage, even garnering an “Invader of the Month” award from the Maryland Invasive Species Council.  

The good news:  While the early spring outbreaks are aggressive, they are short-lived.  In a few weeks, lesser celandine will recede and allow your other plants to come out.

The bad news:   Removing lesser celandine is difficult.  In addition to its wide spread once established, removing the plants entails fully digging out the roots.  Just cutting back the tops will not restrict its return.  Even for people inclined to use chemicals, there’s aren’t really any good options.

Your best option is to invest the time in spring to remove the weed and keep at it for a couple years.  Our crews have observed that a full removal in spring leads to about a 60% reduction in the return the following year and similar progress in years to follow.  Like any invasive, persistence is required but pays off in the long run.