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Wordsworth’s Celandine

Yellow celandine poppies are a good addition to a garden for their attractive cup-shaped flowers and grey-green foliage.

two yellow celandines. one big, one small.

Photo: petirrojo

Yellow celandine.

A well-dressed woodland garden usually has some yellow celandine poppies in bloom in the spring. Their appealing cup-shaped flowers and attractive grey-green foliage blend well with other spring-blooming perennial favorites such as Virginia bluebells, lily of the valley, and bleeding heart.

The poet William Wordsworth must have admired them too. He wrote:

Pansies, lilies, kingcups, daisies;
Let them live upon their praises;
Long as there’s a sun that sets,
Primroses will have their glory;
Long as there are violets,
They will have a place in story:
There’s a flower that shall be mine,
‘Tis the little celandine.

Ere a leaf is on a bush
In the time before the thrush
Has a thought about her nest,
Thou wilt come with half a call,
Spreading out thy glossy breast
Like a careless prodigal;
Telling tales about the sun
When we’ve little warmth, or none.

Think about Wordsworth when you spot your first shiny yellow celandine flower this spring.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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