I look on the sea of golden stars that covers parts of our garden with mixed feelings. The stars are lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), a plant that is a beautiful thug.
|Beautiful but smothering blanket of celandine.|
The flowers are very attractive to early butterflies. Yesterday I saw two peacock butterflies feasting on the little yellow stars.
|Peacock butterfly on a rather limp daffodil.|
There are some cultivated varieties that are a bit better behaved. We have some of the bronze leaved Brazen Hussy. This variety has bronzed, almost black leaves. Although it doesn't spread anywhere near as quickly as its green cousin, you still need to keep an eye on it. The butterflies seem to like it well enough.
There are other varieties too. We quite often find doubles that have spontaneously developed from the singles in our grass. Celandine is a pretty but troublesome plant. Don't let the wild one into your garden if you can possibly avoid it but if you are stuck with it, enjoy the show.