Cultivation of the Chelidonium majus or Celandine

Chelidonium majus also known as Celandine, Swallowtail or Verrucous Grass. It is a species that belongs to the Papaveraceae family, in the same family as poppies. It is native to Central, Northern Europe and the Caucasus region.

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Characteristics of the Chelidonium majus

Herbaceous, perennial or biennial plant that can grow to 30 to 100 cm high. The stem is erect, rhizomatic, bifurcated and with thickened nodes. At the base of it it has hairiness. The leaves are alternate, composed of green limb and the underside of a glaucous tone, deeply pinnatatisect, with serrated margins. The upper leaves are sessile and the basal leaves have a petiole. The flowers are papaveráceas, pedicellate, actinoform, with two deciduous sepals and four yellow cross-shaped petals. It blooms between May and October. The fruit is a thin, cylindrical, silicone capsule whose interior contains numerous seeds.

Cultivation of Chelidonium majus

Plant that does well in cold and humid climates. It is resistant to frost, being able to tolerate up to -15˚C.

It prefers cool and shady places, so the ideal would be to plant in shade or half shade. Although it could grow in dry and sunny places, but the development would be slow.

The soil should be moist or moderately dry, with optimal drainage to avoid flooding. The soil must be calcareous rich in organic matter.

Watering should be moderate so as not to drown the plant.

It can be multiplied by means of seeds, or by division of plants. If it is for seeds, these must be in a hotbed, in a warm bed in the months of February to March. Transplant in April. Now that if it is for reproduction of bushes, it would be necessary to transplant a piece of bush from an adult plant (3 years or more). In the autumn the bush is divided, from the rhizome. The plant is dug up and divided into rhizomes.


The harvest takes place during flowering, which is when it has the best medicinal components. The leaves are harvested in the morning with a significant amount of alkaloids. The flower, the leaves and the stem are used. A cream for corns is made from the flower. The leaves and stems are used as a decoction to treat various ailments such as gingivitis, warts and herpes. However, the plant cannot be consumed for a long time, as it could cause irritation to the mucous membranes. As well as not ingesting it by children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women.

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