Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A perennial Eurasian herb (Chelidonium majus) having deeply divided leaves, showy yellow flowers, and yellow-orange latex. Also called swallowwort.
  • n. The lesser celandine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of two unrelated flowering plants:

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A perennial herbaceous plant (Chelidonium majus) of the poppy family, with yellow flowers. It is used as a medicine in jaundice, etc., and its acrid saffron-colored juice is used to cure warts and the itch; -- called also greater celandine and swallowwort.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The Chelidonium majus, a papaveraceous plant of Europe, naturalized in the United States, having glaucous foliage, bright-yellow flowers, and acrid yellow juice, which is sometimes employed as a purgative and as a remedy for warts. To distinguish it from the following plant, it is often called the greater celandine.
  • n. The pilewort, Ranunculus Ficaria, called in England the lesser or small celandine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. perennial herb with branched woody stock and bright yellow flowers
  • n. North American annual plant with usually yellow or orange flowers; grows chiefly on wet rather acid soil

Etymologies

Middle English celidoine, from Old French, from Medieval Latin celidōnia, from Latin chelīdonia, feminine of chelīdonium, from Greek khelīdonion, from khelīdōn, swallow (from the association by ancient writers of the blossoming of the plant with the return of the swallows in spring); see ghel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English celidoine, Old French celidoine, French chélidoine, from Latin chelidonia, from chelidonius ("relating to the swallow"), from Ancient Greek. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I pause for a bewildered five minutes, wondering if a celandine is a poppy, and how many petals _it_ has: going on again -- because I must, without making up my mind, on either question -- I am told to "observe the floral receptacle of the Californian genus Eschscholtzia."

    Proserpina, Volume 1 Studies Of Wayside Flowers

  • The generic Greek name of the greater celandine, meaning a swallow, was given it because it begins to bloom when the first returning swallows are seen skimming over the water and freshly ploughed fields in a perfect ecstasy of flight, and continues in flower among its erect seed capsules until the first cool days of autumn kill the gnats and small winged insects not driven to cover.

    Wild Flowers Worth Knowing

  • Well, I don't want people who favour strong central governments to negatively impact those of us who think of governments as arrogant, incompetent, intruders into the body politic of the nation. tom celandine

    High court rules in voting rights dispute

  • June 22nd, 2009 11: 33 am ET love this ruling tom celandine

    High court rules in voting rights dispute

  • June 22nd, 2009 12: 02 pm ET tom celandine June 22nd, 2009 11: 34 am ET

    High court rules in voting rights dispute

  • He wrote several verses in their honour, and even requested that after his death a lesser celandine should be carved on his memorial plaque at the church of St Oswald in the Cumbrian village of Grasmere.

    The power of spring flowers

  • About them lay long launds of green grass dappled with celandine and anemones, white and blue, now folded for sleep; and there were acres populous with the leaves of woodland hyacinths: already their sleek bell-stems were thrusting through the mould.

    The power of spring flowers

  • In the event, a greater celandine was used in error.

    The power of spring flowers

  • Bluebells also look good planted with celandine poppies (another native) or daffodils, because of the classic purple and yellow combination.

    Virginia bluebells: a kaleidoscope of spring color « Sugar Creek Gardens’ Blog

  • Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are budded up and ready to burst, and the celandine poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) are showing.

    The big reveal « Sugar Creek Gardens’ Blog

Comments

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  • "Reading through a few of the recipes, the reason for the late Davie Beaton's lack of success with his patients became apparent.... And a few pages later, 'decoctions made of the roots of celandine, turmeric, and juice of 200 slaters cannot but be of great service in a case of jaundice.' I closed the book, marveling at the large number of the late doctor's patients who, according to his meticulous log, had not only survived the treatment meted out to them but actually recovered from their original ailments."
    —Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (NY: Delacorte Press, 1991), 138

    January 2, 2010