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Meadowmat wildflower species: Meadow buttercup

Meadow Buttercup   Ranunculus acris

Flower Colour:  Yellow

Height:  20 – 60 cm

Flowers:  April – September

Distribution:  Can be found throught the British Isles in most meadows, roadsides, young forests, river banks and lake shores.

a field of yellow buttercups

Meadow buttercup is a native perennial herb and is the tallest of the buttercups found in the British Isles. The flowers are bright yellow, glossy and measure up to 2.5cm across. The stems are branched and the plant does not produce runners. The upper leaves are slim and whip-like whilst the lower leaves have 3 distinct lobes which are deeply toothed. The flower stalks are smooth.

Folklore suggests that buttercups give a brighter yellow colour to butter and on May Day, the Irish used to rub buttercups onto cow udders, a tradition to supposedly encourage milk production.

The Victorians believed that the buttercup represented ingratitude and childishness. Perhaps this stems from the playground game of holding a buttercup flower beneath the chin to see if it casts a reflection - if it does, the owner of the chin is said to like butter.

Meadow buttercup is on the RHS Perfect for Pollinators plant list and for that reason has been included in the seedmix for Meadowmat's "Birds and Bees" wild flower turf.  Meadowmat is a trouble-free way to create a wild flower area and the Birds and Bees mix is particularly attractive to honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees.

Discover more about Meadowmat for Birds and Bees

How to make a wild flower meadow 


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