Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Creeping Buttercup
Ranunculus repens

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Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ranunculus (ra-NUN-ku-lus) (Info)
Species: repens (REE-penz) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Groundcovers

Height:
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen
Variegated
Chartreuse/Yellow
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 10 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

2 positives
No neutrals
10 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative coriaceous On Feb 2, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A noxious weed of lawns and gardens and an invasive species destructive of natural areas. It's on the Massachusetts prohibited plant list, which makes the sale, trade, transport, and planting of this species illegal.

Poisonous to grazing animals, and the juice contains a vesicant that can cause blistering on contact.

This plant destroys other plants not only through competition for resources but also by producing allelopathic chemicals, toxins that inhibit the growth of or kill a wide range of other plants.

I once managed to eliminate this from a small piece of lawn, but I'm embarrassed to admit how many days it took me.

Negative splaash On Jul 26, 2013, splaash from Aurora, CO wrote:

INVASIVE! I was hoping the 'buttered popcorn' would not be. I put wide edging (above and below the ground) around the plants and it still escaped and moved into other ground covers in the vicinity. Very difficult to eradicate.

Negative WAHawk On Jun 8, 2009, WAHawk from Sammamish, WA wrote:

Ditto all the negatives from Western WA. Don't ever let this stuff in your garden unless you like it so well that's all you want to grow. (Even then your neighbors will eventually hate you when it gets into their yards). Yes it's pretty... but I'm at war, and I'm losing!

Positive giftgas On Apr 10, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

My dad actually took some of this from a walk in the woods, and put it in his yard. It's been a year now, and he's still happy with the outcome...no more garlic mustard...and yet, I can't remember the last time I saw his lawn, or even dirt for that matter - all that I see are nice little yellow flowers.

Negative dkaise On Oct 22, 2007, dkaise from Aurora, OH wrote:

I would not recommend this plant to anyone for garden use. It spreads everywhere and chokes out any other plants that are in the way. It is so attractive when in bloom, and the leaves are so pretty, that I didn't realize until too late how invasive it was.
One of the worse qualities, is that it spreads via runners and can come up in the middle of another plant, at which point the roots are growing together & hard to get rid of. It has spread into the lawn in spots, where it is doing fine.
I planted this in my garden about 12 years ago, and have been trying to eradicate it from my garden for about 10 years.

Negative renwings On May 20, 2006, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This bugger is awfull here. It grows so thickly that it even chokes out the lawn. It is very difficult to pull too, I think I'd rather pull dandelions. The root holds on with a death grip and it will come back with a vengance if you leave part of the root in the ground. It is pretty in its own way, but makes me want to cry when I find a large patch of it in the flower bed.

Negative Weezingreens On Aug 17, 2005, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

I do not have this plant in my gardens, but I have seen it in a neighbor's flower bed. She tried eradicating it by digging out the soil and sifting it back in, but it is still coming up. It is not an unpleasant looking plant, but it drops roots wherever the runners go and could choke out other plants on the way. I think I'll stay away from this one!

Negative coastgarden On May 22, 2005, coastgarden from Bay Center, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Pacific Northwest here, coastal. Not knowing what this plant was, I have 'fought' with it for 3 years now. I call it a weed and spend enormous amount of time digging it out of everywhere it chooses to volunteer throughout my yard and garden. While the little yellow blooms are attractive, it's way of spreading underground and sending up new shoots that develop into plants makes it most unwelcome for my tastes.

It seems to grow of it's own accord, as I didn't plant it. I'm surprised to learn it is of the ranunculus family. We have moisture here, coastal area on the bay, and my yard stays moist and wet for the most part so this buttercup grows where it wants, creeps rapidly and pops up in places that have vulnerable other deliberate plants.

Not to be totally down on the creeping buttercup, but unless you have lots of acerage and want a totally wildlife kind of look, I sure wouldn't recommend what I call this weed in my yard, garden and flower beds. It doesn't dig up easily either; thus my ongoing 'fight' with this plant.

Negative Legit On Apr 12, 2005, Legit from Porterfield, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I am sorry to have to leave a negative as well, this plant is very attractive in foliage, and the pretty yellow flowers make you leave it a little longer. Well, needless to say, It WILL get away from you, now I am considering roundup on the whole bed and removing the valuable plants it has not choked YET. Legit

Negative xyris On Aug 5, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is also a common weed in the Pacific Northwest, where it spreads through large areas of our wet lawn in winter, and creeps both under and over edging into garden beds. One has to be vigilant to dig it up early before more underground runners develop!

Negative henryr10 On Aug 5, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

First off let me say;
I LOVE invasive plants!
We grow Ajuga, Ivy, Bamboo, etc.

Now on to creeping buttercup.
Around here it's called Galloping Buttercup.

Unless you have it in a pot, on a cement patio w/ at least 10' of room surrounding it.
Stay away from this one.

Run a Google Image search for Creeping Buttercup.
On the first page you will see an image of a herbicide called Creeping Buttercup Weedkiller.

This should tell you about all you need to know about this plant.

Positive micky_IN On May 17, 2002, micky_IN wrote:

I bought 2 plants in 3" pots last year and I now have about 10' of Ranunculus. It is invasive, it will grow where it wants to, when it wants to. I have tried to keep it under "control" however it seems, if I'm not at it everyday it keeps on spreading. On the good (great) side of it all, it will grow in shade, partial shade and full sun. I know because I have it in all of those conditions. The ones in full sun are about 18" now and are blooming all over. The transplanted ones are doing great but not blooming yet. I have no idea what kind of soil I have, just plain ole yard dirt I guess but, they seem to love it. The leafs are a varigated yellow/lime green right now and will get greener as time goes by. I love my Ranunculus and would recommend it to anyone wanting something that will spread fast and look very pretty next to anything. The only drawback is that it will grow everywhere. It's growing in my lawn but we just mow over it---no biggie!

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Athens, Alabama
Seward, Alaska
Aspen, Colorado
Aurora, Colorado
Thomasville, Georgia
Ashton, Illinois
Leavenworth, Kansas
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Sandwich, Massachusetts
Maben, Mississippi
Missoula, Montana
Kingston, New York
Aurora, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Lititz, Pennsylvania
Morrisville, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Richmond, Texas
Bay Center, Washington
Bremerton, Washington
Everett, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Mercer Island, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Sammamish, Washington
Porterfield, Wisconsin



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