Page author: Don Knoke
Chelidonium majus
devil's milk, swallow wort

Distribution: Weedy introduction across southern Canada and the northern tier of states in the United States.

Habitat: Moist to dry woods, roadsides, fields, waste areas.

Flowers: May - July

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Biennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies


Nearly glabrous perennial, the stems branching, ribbed, to 10 dm. tall.


Basal leaves in a rosette; cauline leaves alternate, up to 35 cm. long with petioles 2-10 cm. long; leaf blades deeply 5-9 lobed, the margins irregularly dentate.


Inflorescence a terminal umbel, the peduncle 2-10 cm. long, pedicles 5-35 mm. long; sepals 2, distinct, up to 1 cm. long; petals 4, bright yellow, obovate to oblong, up to 2 cm. wide; flowers 20-25 mm. in diameter; stamens 12-many; style 1 mm. long.


Capsules linear to narrowly oblong, 2-5 cm. long, glabrous

Accepted Name:
Chelidonium majus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 505. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Chelidonium majus L. var. majus [FNA, KZ99, AJ]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Chelidonium majus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Chelidonium majus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Chelidonium majus information.

E-Flora BC: Chelidonium majus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Chelidonium majus photos.

USDA Plants: Chelidonium majus information.

15 photographs:
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