Three Buttercups

The Buttercup Family is called Ranunculaceae.  It’s a big family.  In the last week, three different species have been catching my eye.

Marsh Marigolds in the Afternoon SunMarsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris) are spilling out of wet places into the ditches on the sides of roads where I drive to work.  They are under the bridges of the trails at Audubon.  They are in amongst the Skunk Cabbages on the sides of the trails.  They are gorgeous in the sun.  But even on rainy days, they seem to glow from within and make their own light.

Everybody Likes Marsh Marigolds

 There’s a spot along a tiny creek in the woods where I walk the dog.  The banks are covered in Swamp Buttercup (Ranunculus septentrionalis).

Swamp Buttercup

The buttercups share the bank with red and white trilliums, two or three varieties of violets, leeks, trout lilies, and more.  It’s a lovely spot!

Kidney-leaved ButtercupAnd, moving from large to small, the smallest of all is Kidney-leaved Buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus), also known as Littleleaf Buttercup or Small-flowered Crowfoot.  The flower is almost inconspicuous.  When you do notice it, you may think, “Oh, this flower already lost its petals.”  You’d be wrong, though.  It’s just a really tiny flower!

Kidney-leaved Buttercup Closeup

I know Montucky has been seeing buttercups since early March.  How about you?  What buttercup species are blooming around your place?

6 thoughts on “Three Buttercups

  1. We’ve had Sagebrush Buttercup (Ranunculus glaberrimus) growing since the beginning of March … not bad for the north countreeeee! It is still blooming.

  2. Those Marsh Marigolds are sure pretty! We still have lots of buttercups blooming around here, but they are starting to be replaced by others now. I saw today that the Arrowleaf Balsamroot is just beginning to bloom.

  3. Lovely photos, especially of the Marsh Marigold!

    Around here the only Ranunculus sp. blooming are California Buttercup (R. californicus), and Marsh Marigold, but we also have Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa, and probably my very favorite wildflower) and Larkspur (Delphinium sp., I have a very hard time ID’ing these to the species since there are so many and they look so similar!), which are in Ranunculaceae. Both are on their last legs for this season, although California Buttercup blooms for most of the spring and early summer.

  4. Pingback: Gold in the creek « the Marvelous in nature

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