Say hello to Ranunculus Acris, or Meadow Buttercup.
Typically, if an odd leaf sprout shows up on the grounds here at the cottage, I’ll mark it and allow it to mature. Sometimes you get a horrible, horrible thing (reference the Creeping Charlie), but more times than not I get rewarded with something pretty. I did just that with the buttercup.
Around the 1st of March, a little hand shaped leaf poked up between the native yarrow and asters I had transplanted to the garden. It was unique enough to give it a little time to see what it would do….. and to give me the chance to identify it before I yanked it up by the roots.
Granted – I lot of what I allow and encourage to grow here at the cottage are weeds – the kind that send most people shrieking in horror that I give them a purchase and a chance to seed. But weeds or not, some of the plants have actual attractive blooms.
Meadow buttercup is an invasive pasture weed, as the leaves, stems, and flowers are all toxic to livestock. Left on it’s own to seed and spread, buttercup can take over a grazing pasture in 3 to 4 seasons.
However, if you keep an eye on it and destroy the plant before they begin to seed (about the last week of May) you can enjoy two months of graceful, bright yellow flowers dancing in the breeze on lacy branching stems.
Bloom Time: April through July
Description: Flat, open, celery-shaped leaves
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Tolerates most conditions – prefers meadows, roadsides, boggy areas
Maintenance: High, reseeds aggressively. Remove knobby seed burs as they appear – or – uproot plants at the end of May.
Flower: Solid, bright yellow, 5 overlapping petal flowers / Matching Bright Yellow Stamen.
Attracts: Birds, Pollinators, Bees
Fruit: Knobby, 1/4″ bur at the termination of each stem
Other: Toxic. Good candidate for open meadow flowers
Tolerate: Clay Soil but will grown in most soil conditions