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?

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