Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna) ground zero at Lake Wendouree in Ballarat. Since appearing there in the early 1980s, this Eurasian plant has become a ubiquitous part of the Wendouree lawns in the vicinity of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, it has also appeared sporadically in the Melbourne metropolitan along the lower fringe of the eastern ranges.
Also known in England as Pilewort and in America as Fig Buttercup, Lesser Celandine was imported from 1873 as a garden ornamental, and differs from Victoria’s more common weed buttercups of the related genus Ranunculus in having eight+ petals rather than five. A weed of damp, sandy soils, the establishment of the species in Victoria may be limited by its particular environmental requirements, but its success at Ballarat indicates its potential to install itself permanently given ideal conditions.
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