Herbs , biennial or perennial, caulescent, from stout rhizomes or taproots; sap yellow to orange. Stems leafy. Leaves petiolate; basal rosulate, cauline alternate; blade 1-2× pinnately lobed. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, umbelliform, few flowered; bracts present. Flowers: sepals 2, distinct; petals 4; stamens ca. 12-many; pistil 2-carpellate; ovary 1-locular; style ± distinct; stigma 2-lobed. Capsules erect, 2-valved, dehiscing from base. Seeds few to many, arillate. x = 6.
Herbs, perennial, erect, blue-gray, yellow lactiferous. Rootstock brown. Stems erect, terete, cymosely branched. Basal leaves in a lax rosette, long petiolate, pinnatisect; lobes obovate-oblong, broadly obovate, or lanceolate, margin crenate, deltoid-lobed, or nearly pinnatisect. Cauline leaves alternate, shortly petiolate; blade like basal leaves. Flowers many, forming axillary umbels, bracteate. Flower buds ovoid. Sepals 2, olivine. Petals 4, yellow, in 2 whorls. Stamens many. Ovary terete, 1-loculed, 2-carpellate, glabrous; styles distinct; stigmas 2-lobed. Capsule narrowly terete, almost moniliform, glabrous, when mature 2 segments divided from base to apex; stigmas persistent. Seeds many, shiny, small, tessellate, cristately carunculate.
"Sep 2; pet 4, yellow; ovary narrowly cylindric, glabrous, narrowed above into a very short style with 2-lobed stigma; fr smooth, dehiscent from the base upwards by elongate valves; seeds arillate; biennial with saffron-colored juice, deeply lobed lvs, and few-fld umbelliform infls. Monospecific."
|Celandine, greater celandine, rock-poppy, swallowwort, chélidoine [Greek cheilidon, swallow (bird), perhaps from lore reported by Aristotle and others that mother swallows bathe eyes of their young with the sap]|