Bulbous Buttercup

Bulbous_Buttercup_jpgThis family (Ranunculaceae) commonly called the Buttercup or Crowfoot family consists of 58 genera and about 1750 species of herbs, shrubs and woody vines  found in boreal and temperate regions.  Many species are cultivated as ornamentals including Clematis, Columbine and Delphinium.  Ranunculus is Latin for “a small frog” presumably alluding to the watery habitat of the species.Shakespeare wrote of the Bulbous Buttercup: “Cuckoo-buds of yellow hue do paint the meadows with delight” (Love’s Labour’s Lost). The 1998 edition of the Physicians’ Deck Reference for Herbal Medicines reports that the herb is used in homeopathy for skin diseases, rheumatism, gout, neuralgia, influenza, and meningitis.  Extended skin contact with the freshly-harvested specimens can lead to blister formation.  If taken internally, severe irritation to the gastrointestinal tract, combined with diarrhea, as well as irritation upon urination may occur.

OtherCommonName:

Small frog ~ Biting Crowfoot ~ Butter-Cress ~ Gold-Knobs ~ Yellow-Weed ~ Cuckoo-Buds

ScientificName:

Ranunculus bulbosus

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized Native of Europe

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

8 inches to 2 feet

FruitingTime:

to Late August

Distribution:

Throughout the United States ~ Statewide in NJ

FloweringTime:

Late April to Mid-June

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Flowers are large golden yellow, 5 sepals hanging down, 5 petals ~ Fruit has short curve beak ~ Basal leaves are long triangular ~ Stem branched and thickens at the base