Help please to stop ground covering plant spreading.

My wife and I recently moved into 1930`s house, I noticed a profussion of small ground covering plants with small green leaves with orange flowers in the border as I dug out some old rose bushes. As I lifted these small plants I noticed they have tubers like a bunch of grapes. That was during the summer and now the plants are back, they are spreading again in the border and are now appearing in the second and third row of paving bricks on my patio as well.

Help please to get rid of this nuisance.

Many thanks.



  • Any chance of a photo? The roots sound a bit like Oxalis - can you describe the leaves? 

  • Or how about Ficaria verna, Lesser Celandine? Although the flowers are yellow and appear in the spring - they were late this year, however. They used to be called Pilewort because the roots look like haemorroids!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,230


    Sounds like oxalis to me. ficaria are dormant now. A photo would confirm. 

  • Thank you for your responses. yes, haemorroids describe the roots perfectly, not that I would know you understand. But photos, yes of course, sorry.




     Hope you get these 3 photos, no flowers on now, but there were during summer.

    Many thanks.



  • They are only small, do not grow tall and spread like mad.

    Many thanks.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,230

    looks like ficaria, certainly not oxalis.

    Mine have nothing to see at present, that's my only doubt. That and the orange flowers. golden yellow is what I would expect

    See what others think

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    Celandine - real pest - all those little nodules on the roots break off and create more plants.

    Have tried Roundup with some success but if it's the same as here it is a never ending routine. Now I dig and bin when I see them - carefuly as the root things break off, and if in a area I really don't want them I spray, but it is not easy avoiding plants

    they come up in the middle of plants and everywhere

    Sympathies aas they are image and make me image

    All the same mine have yellow flowers , but the leaves and roots look the same as yours

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,823

    Definitely the dread and beautiful Lesser Celandine. Ranunculus ficaria.

    Translocatable weedkiller is the only solution and then you need to do it every time a leaf appears.

    I like the plamt. We even grow a few different forms of it, white, double, green etc.

    But yes the normal type really does spread.

    There is an orange one

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,613

    Yes, lesser celandine - it makes my heart glad when I see that golden glow beneath the trees in late winter image  but I don't have it coming up in the cracks and crevices of my path image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • No don't spray glyphosate (Roundup or other glyphosate product) as soon as a leaf appears. That is a waste of time as you need a good green top to kill it. You might manage to spray it twice in its short season but I agree that with it's tiny tubers it will take a year or two to kill it. I actually like it very much in the right place and a good thing about it is that it completely disappears for the year in mid June

Sign In or Register to comment.