The Plant Native

Celandine Poppy

Highlights

If you live in the Mid-Atlantic and have a large shady spot, this might be the plant for you. Celandine poppies cover themselves in bright yellow flowers in the early spring and bloom again in the late fall. They are easy to grow, short—perfect for borders—and stay green throughout the summer. A full-proof flower to plant and adore, year after year. Scroll down for planting tips.

Part Shade – Shade
12-18″ tall
Springtime flowers
Stylophorum diphyllum
In the wild, Celandine Poppies will cover forests in greenery and blooms, before the trees leaf out

Dig Deeper

Explore the history, types, and where to plant native Celandine Poppy

Table of Contents

Celandine Poppies are beautiful, multi-season blooming native flowers

Celandine Poppies are plants native to North America. This means they have happily grown without human intervention for thousands of years. 

Native plants are always the best choices for our gardens because they provide maximum beauty and wildlife support with minimum work. If native plants can plant themselves without human help, we can happily plant them too, and enjoy fuss-free landscapes.

Celandine Poppies bloom twice!

One of the coolest things about this shade-loving native flower is that Celandine Poppies often bloom 2x a year: once in the spring, and again in the fall. In between, its green beautifully shaped leaves stay verdant and bright. It’s a lovely addition to any shade or part-shade garden.

You may be thinking—I’ve heard of the name Celandine before. This leads us to introduce…

The “Celandine Confusion”

We’re borrowing a headline from the New York Times here. You may be looking out your window and seeing tiny yellow flowers in the spring and thinking…

Are those Celandine Poppies?

Well, to make spring gardening extremely confusing—two yellow flowers bloom in the spring with extremely similar names. They are:

Celadine Poppy

Celandine Poppy

Stylophorum diphyllum

Four-petaled yellow flowers emerge in the spring. Sometimes called Wood Poppy. Native to North America—plant away, native plant lovers!

Lesser Celadine

Lesser Celandine

Ficaria verna

I know—can you believe the name is so similar? This 7-12 petaled spring flower is a ‘Eurasian weed‘ that can overtake an area in a few seasons. It is very difficult to remove once its taken root.

Remove Lesser Celandine when you can

If you happen to have Lesser Celandine in your garden, join us on a multi-year commitment to removing this whenever spotted. Sadly, once this plant gets to spread its seeds, it can require years of whack-a-mole removal. But remove them we must! These non-native flowers can quickly overtake an area in a few years.

Plant Celandine Poppy when you can—it’s endangered in some areas

The native gem Celandine Poppy has sadly become missing from some of its core native areas—Canada in particular. Plans are in place by the Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario Region to help bring this native flower back to regions where it was once ubiquitous. 

The native range of the Celandine Poppy (map from USDA)

Where is Celandine Poppy native?

Celandine Poppy is native to the Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Midwest

How to grow Celandine Poppy

Celandine Poppies love shady, damp areas. Their natural habitat is beneath trees that shed leaves to keep the soil consistently moist and always full of organic matter. If you have a spot in your landscaping that sounds similar, that is the spot to plant Celandine Poppies. 

Here is a quick overview of a gardener’s use of Celandine Poppies in their garden (along with some native azaleas!)

Added bonus: Celandine Poppy is deer-proof

Deer do NOT eat Celandine Poppy! If you’re worried about deer nibbling your garden, Celandine Poppies are a perfect native plant. 

Give Celandine Poppies space: they can overtake an area

Celandine Poppies are sometimes called ‘thugs‘ by gardeners because they can self-seed and overtake an area over the years. 

But not all native plants that easily spread are bad! Celandine Poppy is ideal for covering large shady expanses. While they might not be perfect for a small mixed shade garden, they are perfect for larger shade spaces alongside other native shade-loving plants.

When happy, they will bloom for 10-20 years

What a generous, long-lived perennial flower. Once growing, Celandine Poppies can come back again and again for 10-20 years. This is on top of their twice-blooming ability.

What to plant with Celandine Poppy

According to Brooklyn Bridge Park, “Leaves can look ragged in summer when left unwatered, so it’s good to plant Stylophorum [Celandine Poppy] behind plants that can hide it or plan to cutback.” 

To heed this advice, pair Celandine Poppies with other native plants that like shade and moist areas. Plants like Alum Root and ferns are perfect pairings.

Heuchera 'Green-Spice' by Patrick Standish

Alum Root (Heuchera)

flame-azalea-native-plant-shrub

Azalea

mountain-laurel-native-shrub-flower

Mountain Laurel

ninebark-5755860_1280

Ninebark

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Red Columbine

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Tulip Poplar

Where can I buy Celandine Poppy?

Sadly, many native plants are not regularly stocked at conventional plant nurseries. The good news is that they are out there—if you know where to look! We’ve assembled four resources to help find Celadine Poppies in your area:

Celandine Poppy

Where can I find seeds and plants?

Finding native plants can be challenging (we partly blame Marie Antoinette.) To make it easier, we’ve assembled four sourcing ideas.

Native Plant Nurseries

Our list of native nurseries makes finding one a breeze

Online Communities

Local Facebook groups are a great plant source

Celandine Poppy is an excellent native flower for any shady, consistently moist area. Because they are short, they are also perfect for borders or underneath trees. Plant them once and they will come back, year after year. Happy planting!

UPDATED —
04/12/2024
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