Buttercup (Ranunculus)

The genus Ranunculus belongs to the Ranunculaceae family and has about 400 species, perennials and annuals. Of Asian origin, they can be seen in Europe, Asia and America. One of the characteristics that all species of this plant share is that they are toxic.

In such diversity, its flowers can be found in a wide variety of colors. It is a simple but elegant flower, ideal for decorating your gardens and terraces. Its planting and propagation requires a lot of care.


Usually the roots are secondary to a main rhizome, although in some species, such as Ranunculus bulbosus, parts of the root cortex can become reserve parenchyma, while in others there are tuberous roots. Depending on the species, the stem can be erect or creeping, as well as its leafiness and branching can be scarce or abundant. In aquatic plants, its stems are submerged and flaccid, without any supporting tissues.

Its leaves can be basal or stem. The blade is shown entirely or even deeply engraved in 3 or more lobes, which in turn are subdivided, the edges of the leaves can be rounded, lanceolate to narrow lacinias and the caulinar leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, few in number and usually have the form of lacinias, essentially when the inflorescence approaches.

As for the aquatic ones, the leaves that are submerged are divided into capillary lacinias, while the leaves that are outside the water develop normally. In basal leaf species, these sprout from the same point at the base. Its rose-like flowers are large and charming, with a corolla usually composed of 5 petals ( this number varies depending on the species from 3 to 20 petals ). They can be found in a wide variety of colors.

According to the species in question, the calyx can be made up of 5 or 3 greenish-yellow or brown sepals that alternate with respect to them. In certain species the sepals are resistant to fruiting. The size of the sepals of ranunculus varies from 1 to 15 mm. Flowering takes place in late winter.

Planting and care

Ranunculus planted in the garden prefer semi-shade and moderate winds, while those found indoors need well-lit places and be away from heat-generating sources. In hot climates during the hottest hours, you should cultivate in places protected from the direct rays of the sun to avoid that its leaves can burn.

It is a plant with soft soils, rich in nutrients and well drained, which you must prepare with three parts of soil and one part of sand. It is preferable to have an acidic pH and so that its roots do not run the risk of rotting, it must have a drainage capable of avoiding water stagnation. However, as this plant demands moist soil, you must water regularly, always avoiding excess water. After its flowering, you must suspend the watering of the plant until the new shoots appear.

Now and if you want it to produce abundant flowers, you must use special liquid fertilizers for this type of plant in the vegetative restart period. This fertilizer must be applied dissolved in the irrigation water. Another valid advice is that when you plant the bulbs, enrich the soil with a granular fertilizer.

Types of Buttercups

The buttercup genus includes a wide variety of species native to Asia, Oceania, North and Central America, and some regions of Europe. With similar characteristics and varied cultivation difficulty levels, but all with infinitely beautiful flowers.

Ranunculus ficaria

It is a perennial species widespread throughout Europe, reaching up to 30 cm in height. Its flowering occurs in late January or early May, it shows an extraordinary yellow flower and bright green leaf . Due to its ease of cultivation and beauty, it is ideal for gardens, however, care must be taken with sun exposure and the soil, since it requires partial sun and an appropriate level of humidity.

Ranunculus acris

The Ranunculus acris grows spontaneously in the meadows and flowers in spring, showing a flower 5 petals gold attractive. It is one of the species of the Ranunculaceae family that is easier to cultivate due to its peculiar characteristic of adapting easily to all types of soil.

Ranunculus asiaticus

It is the most cultivated and used species for hybridization processes. It can reach 40 cm in height. Unlike most ranunculus, it presents a level of difficulty in its cultivation, so it is necessary to be attentive to the conditions of sun exposure and temperature, as it does not tolerate high or low temperatures ( ideal temperature of 10 to 25 ° C ).

Ideal for Mediterranean gardens. The beautiful flower with fine petals arranged like those of roses, but more compact. Of varied tones: yellow, red, pink, white and other shades.

Ranunculus repens

In the wild, Ranunculus repens is a very invasive plant, however it is ideal for gardens essentially as a cover for them. It can spread horizontally at ground level through the stolon roots. With an erect stem, oval leaves and small yellow flowers.

Ranunculus bulbosus

Suitable for rock gardens and as a ground cover due to its beautiful flowering and attractive leaves. At the end of the spring period, its stems present corollas of a bright yellow color, with an approximate diameter of 2 cm. It is an easy-to-grow species that only requires good sun exposure and well-drained soil.


The Ranunculus is a plant cultivated for ornamental and commercial purposes, to beautify gardens, terraces and interiors. Likewise, for the elaboration of flower arrangements and bouquets.

The bright colors of this beautiful plant go well with contrasting colors, as is the case with the yellow Ranunculus with blue flowers. Its different species also combine well with poppies and anemones.

For flower arrangements they look great with double roses or peonies, because all three species share double, full and round flowers. It also combines well with the Caen anemone or with foliage such as eucalyptus or asparagus, with which its large globular flowers will form a nice contrast.


All plants require care to avoid disease, although some more than others. This plant does not require special attention when it comes to discomfort, but it can present problems during the vegetative period. In this case, you will see spots or spots on rhizomes, which indicate that they could be rotting due to excess moisture. In this case, the most effective remedy is to reduce watering without drying out the soil.

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