Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria,)
Is a low growing perennial plant that is one of the years first foraged greens to return with a vibrant star like yellow flower , now don’t get me wrong this is not a bulk item but more an added green to a mixed salad with a slightly acrid taste it goes well with ramsons along with the odd flower for a visual effect ,the thing to remember is the plant is still in the same family as the buttercup which is poisonous due to its concentration of Protoanemonin fortunately this is transformed upon heating into Anemonin which medically has importance it has both Antispasmodic and analgetic properties which means it can be used to treat muscle spasms and has importance within pain control .
When boiled I find it is a great veg plant to add to rich meats such as pheasant it is somewhat like mild kale in taste and also cleansed from toxins .
In history the plant was identified using the doctorine of signatures and believed to treat Haemorrhoids due to its root appearance hence it’s more common name of Pilewort and as with most of the cases it has no proven direct fact other than its ability to relieve pain ,
Another fact I feel is overlooked quite regularly is that the protoanemonin is produced by the plant as a defence against damage and in its raw state can be quite a skin irritant ,
celandine comes from the Latin chelidonia, meaning swallow: it was believed that the plant would rise with the return of the swallow and die back with its migration The name Ranunculus is Late Latin for “little frog or tadpole,” it is believed to either be because it liked the same habitat as frogs or it may refer to the flowers that are comparable to tadpoles ,
My biggest tip would be a sprig of scurvy grass in the pan with a good handful of young leaves will add a extra special taste to add to a good plate full of roast burdock root and game bird breast meal .