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Ranunculus, Creeping Buttercup, Popcorn Plant 'Buttered Popcorn'

Ranunculus repens

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



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Guilford, Connecticut

Marietta, Georgia

Beecher, Illinois

Machesney Park, Illinois

Urbandale, Iowa

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Pequannock, New Jersey

Ithaca, New York

Newark, Ohio

Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

Lexington, Virginia

Onalaska, Washington

Marinette, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

This cultivar spreads with astonishing speed, and is just as invasive as the species. I've spent much time trying to rid both lawn and beds of the parent species. 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, 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.


On Jan 17, 2010, faithiep from Oldsmar, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:


On Oct 22, 2009, Bombix from Rockford, IL wrote:

It all depends where you put it. Not knowing its habit when I first planted it, I had to eradicate it (no easy task) from the perennial and 'meadow' areas of the garden, because it crept into everything and tried to take over. I moved it to the eroding slope on the city side of the side walk (I'm lawn free) and in the alley (where weeds are king) and it has been a godsend. It's not a plant I'd recommend to most gardeners, but it is pretty and can be useful in difficult areas.


On Nov 7, 2008, Loretta_NJ from Pequannock, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very pretty and colorful even in winter but it is a thug. It spreads rapidly in all directions, through all things and it is not easy to pull out. Fortunately I had an infestation of some kind of fuzzy aphid that decimated the plant. I still keep a neglected small bit in a pot. It has lived above ground in it, even through winters, but never returned to its former glory. Not recommended for most uses.


On Feb 15, 2006, soulgardenlove from Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I had already read the negative reviews of this plant when I decided to take my chances and put it in the garden this past fall. I do like the color and it is evergreen (or Lime green anyway)... However, I was just reading "The passion for Gardening" by Ken Druse and on page 107 he mentions this plant by name as a "problem", and he "lost several plants that the Ranuculus had overrun". Well, if this wasn't a last chance wake-up call, I don't know what it will take. I will dig this up and hopefully get it all out... I'm tempted to keep some in pots, but don't know if it will reseed and still cause a problem.


On Jun 4, 2005, Equilibrium wrote:

Top contender for a "Creeping Crud" award. I was given some of this as a gift. Oh lordie lordie lordie, talk about a gift that goes on giving. I think... not entirely sure, that I may have gotten the last of it ripped out of the ground this year but then again one never knows and all it takes is one missed piece for this to go on giving. And, shade didn't seem to slow it down.


On Jun 4, 2005, Dave47 from Southern, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

The vendor I bought this from didn't warn me about how this spreads. I will now try to move it to deep shade or through it out. Its overwhelming my perrenials.


On Dec 22, 2004, victorgardener from Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

If you're looking for a fast spreading, colorful, weed smothering ground cover to go from full sun to full shade, this is it. It has not been the thug for me that it has reportedly been for others. Makes a great carpet. Color is more golden in the sun.


On Nov 6, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Another one of those invasive plants that once in the garden, is virtually impossible to get out. Each spring I start weeding one of the wet spots in my garden and try to eradicate this plant. Two weeks later it's back. It pops up everywhere it's the hardest to get out - right in the middle of bulb plantings, in hosta, etc. The flowers are pretty, but when not-where-they-re-supposed-to-be, can be a scourge. That's why the negative rating.