Species: Ficaria verna, Syn.: Ranunculus ficaria L.
Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna), in German called “Scharbockskraut”. The early leaves are rich in Vitamin C and have been taken on board by sailors, who ate them to prevent scurvy (hence the German name “Skorbutkraut” = Scurvyherb). For consumption the leaves have to be harvested before the plant flowers. Later the entire herb becomes inedible due to an increasing concentration of protoanemonin.
The herb’s Celtic name, “Grian”, means “sun”, and it has also been referred to as “spring messenger”.
Magical uses: Sun and fire herb, announces the arrival of spring and days getting longer, used for fertility, prosperity, prophetic dream
Note: the English name is somewhat misleading, since this herb is not in any way related to the Greater Celandine.