Family: Buttercup [Ranunculaceae]


Aconitum

Actaea

Adonis

Anemone

Aquilegia

Caltha

Clematis

Consolida

Delphinium

Eranthis

Ficaria

Helleborus

Hepatica

Myosurus

Nigella

Pulsatilla

Ranunculus

Thalictrum

Trollius



[CALTHA] Marsh-marigold

Marsh Marigold. (Caltha palustris) Photo: © RWD


[ERANTHIS] Winter Aconite

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) Photo: © RWD



[FICARIA] Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine. (Ficaria verna) Photo: © RWD



[RANUNCULUS] Buttercups

The petals of buttercups are glossy on the inside, reflecting their yellow colour under the chin of and to the delight of children. The inside surfaces are coated by special cells which trap two thin layers of air just beneath the surface. These air layers are the means by which the inner surfaces are so glossy. They curved petals reflect and focus both visible and ultra-violet rays from sunlight striking them towards the centre of the flowers where they warm-up the pollen-producing stamens, which increases their growth-rate and enhances their chance of fertilization.

The intense yellow colour of the petals of Buttercups is due to the fact that the sunlight has to pass through the pigmented epidermal layer twice, once on the way in and again on the way out. The pigment is one of the yellow carotenoids, a Tetra-Hydroxy Lutein.

The observant may notice that not all species of Ranunculus have equally shiny petals on their insides, some seem more shiny than do others. In particular, Lesser Celandine does sometimes seem to have rather duller petals, but then again, it is not a species of Ranunculus, but one of Ficaria.

 

BUTTERCUP HYBRID CHART (shrunk)
Hybrid Chart: BUTTERCUP (larger)

The two Spleenworts, Lesser Spleenwort and Creeping Spleenwort, hybridize only with themselves and not other members of the Buttercup or Water-Crowfoot species.

Ranunculus SPECIES LACKING HYBRIDS
(Ranunculus aconitifolius) Aconite-leaved Buttercup
(Ranunculus acris) Meadow Buttercup
(Ranunculus arvensis) Corn Buttercup
(Ranunculus auricomus) Goldilocks Buttercup / Wood Goldilocks
(Ranunculus bulbosus) Bulbous Buttercup
(Ranunculus creticus)
(Ranunculus flammula
subsp. minimus)
Lesser Spearwort
(Ranunculus flammula
subsp. scoticus)
Lesser Spearwort
(Ranunculus hederaceus) lvy-leaved Crowfoot
(Ranunculus lingua) Greater Spearwort
(Ranunculus marginatus) St Martin's Buttercup
(Ranunculus monspeliacus)
(Ranunculus muricatus) Rough-fruited Buttercup
(Ranunculus ophioglossifolius) Adder's-tongue Spearwort
(Ranunculus paludosus) Jersey Buttercup
(Ranunculus parviflorus) Small-flowered Buttercup
(Ranunculus penicillatus) Stream Water-crowfoot
(Ranunculus penicillatus
subsp. penicillatus)
Stream Water-crowfoot
(Ranunculus penicillatus
subsp. pseudofluitans)
var pseudofluitans
(Ranunculus repens) Creeping Buttercup
(Ranunculus sardous) Hairy Buttercup
(Ranunculus sceleratus) Celery-leaved Buttercup
(Ranunculus subg. Batrachium) Water Crowsfeet

Lesser Spearwort. (Ranunculus flammula) Photo: © RWD

Greater Spearwort. (Ranunculus lingua) Photo: © RWD

Goldilocks Buttercup (Ranunculus auricomus) Photo: © RWD

Bulbous Buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus) Photo: © RWD

Celery-Leaved Buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus) Photo: © RWD



[TROLLIUS] Globeflower

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus) Photo: © RWD



[ACONITUM] Monk's-hoods

Monk's-hood. (Aconitum napellus) Photo: © RWD



[AQUILEGIA] Columbines

Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) Photo: © RWD



[CONSOLIDA] Larkspurs

Larkspur (Consolida ajacis) Photo: © RWD



[ANEMONE] Anemones

Wood Anemone. (Anemone nemerosa) Photo: © RWD

Balkan Anemone (Anemone blanda) Photo: © RWD

Poppy Anemone (Anemone coronaria) Photo: © RWD



[NIGELLA] Love-in-a-Mist

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) Photo: © RWD



[HELLEBORUS] Hellebores

Lenten-Rose (Helleborus orientalis) Photo: © RWD

Corsican Hellebore (Helleborus argutifolius) Photo: © RWD

Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) Photo: © RWD

Christmas-Rose (Helleborus niger) Photo: © RWD



[THALICTRUM] Meadow-Rues

Common Meadow-Rue (Thalictrum flavum) Photo: © RWD

Lesser Meadow-Rue (Thalictrum minus) Photo: © RWD

French Meadow-Rue (Thalictrum aquilegiifolium) Photo: © Rebecca Stanton



[PULSATILLA] Pasqueflower

Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) Photo: © RWD



[CLEMATIS] Traveller's-Joys

Virgin's-Bower (Clematis flammula) Photo: © RWD

Traveller's-Joy (Clematis vitalba) Photo: © RWD

Orange-Peel Clematis (Clematis tangutica) Photo: © RWD

Family: Buttercup [Ranunculaceae]

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