Chelidonium majus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPapaveraceaeChelidoniumChelidonium majus


This perennial herb is widely naturalised by roadsides and paths, in the crevices of old walls, on waste ground and in hedge-bottoms. It was at one time cultivated as a medicinal plant, and most localities are near habitation. Lowland.



World Distribution

As an archaeophyte C. majus has a Eurasian Temperate distribution; it is widely naturalised outside this range.

Broad Habitats

Boundary and linear features (eg hedges, roadsides, walls)

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 905

Height (cm): 90

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1662

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 220

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 9

Atlas Change Index: -0.72

Weighted Changed Factor: 17

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (30b)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1991)
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.