Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Meadow Buttercup
Ranunculus acris

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ranunculus (ra-NUN-ku-lus) (Info)
Species: acris (AK-riss) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


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

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:

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

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RosinaBloom On Dec 5, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Ranunulus acris is one of the more commonly introduced perennial buttercups which varies in appearance worldwide. Ranunculus is Latin for "little frog" - frogs, and supposedly buttercups, live near water. The leaves and stems contain an acrid poisonous juice which protects the plant from herbivorous animals, and if ingested can cause inflammation and swelling.
Though a golden meadow of buttercups is a lovely site to see, in New Zealand they are a pasture weed costing the dairy industry greatly, and they are one of the few pasture weeds that have built up a resistance to herbicides.
As children we would hold a buttercup flower under our chin, and depending on the shade of your skin the buttercup would reflect its yellow, which was taken to mean that you loved butter. A lovely child's game.

Positive Kim_M On May 4, 2006, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is my favorite plant. I haven't found it to be invasive yet. So far it has stayed in it's place. I love the glossy yellow flowers and it's so happy in my garden. I grew it last year from seed. It has bloomed for the first time in April. Very very lovely plant.


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

Pompano Beach, Florida
Ludington, Michigan
Saginaw, Michigan
Neptune, New Jersey
Hamilton, Ohio
Xenia, Ohio
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Troy, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Sugar Land, Texas

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