Scientific Name: Ranunculus bulbosa (Ranunculaceae).
English Name: Bulbous Buttercup; Saint Anthony's Turnip; Goldcup; Frogs-foot (Buttercup family).
French Name: Renoncule bulbeuse (='bulbous ranunculus'); Rave-de-saint-Antoine ('Saint Anthony's swollen root vegetable').
5 Key Characters:
- glossy yellow flowers with 5-7 petals.
- three lobed lower leaves.
- 20-60 cm tall.
- distinctive reflexed (bent back) sepals.
- grows from a corm (swollen underground stem).
Lookalikes: Meadow Buttercup R. acris and Creeping Buttercup R. repens, neither of which have the reflexed sepals.
Habitat: Lawns, pasture, fields, hay meadows, grassy banks. Favours nutrient-poor, well drained soil, dislikes crops and improved grassland.
Flowering Period: April-May-June-July.
Status: Abundant. Poisonous when fresh but the toxin is destroyed if the plant is dried (eg in hay).
References and Further Reading: A blog post on Days on the Claise which describes how to use buttercups to calculate the age of a grassland.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: