Friday, June 20, 2003

Double your Displeasure

image of Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majusimage of Double Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus flore pleno

At Walden Pond today, I saw a plant which I at first thought was greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), but I was thrown off by the many-petaled flowers. While the plants had the same distinctive vegetation and yellow sap of greater celandine, they turned out to be "double-flowered" greater celandine, a cultivar or variety named "Flore Pleno" (see photo on right). The individuals I saw seemed to have sacrificed stamens for those extra petals, suggesting that they have less reproductive power. However, the plants were definitely setting seed, and had established several populations along the entrances to some of the Walden Pond trails.

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