Ranunculus is a large genus of about 600 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae. Members of the genus include the buttercups, spearworts, and water crowfoots. The petals are often highly lustrous, especially in yellow species. Buttercups usually flower in the spring, but flowers may be found throughout the summer, especially where the plants are growing as opportunistic colonisers, as in the case of garden weeds.
Ranunculus repens, the creeping buttercup, is native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa. It is also called creeping crowfoot and (along with restharrow) sitfast. It is a herbaceous, stoloniferous perennial plant growing to 50 cm tall. It has both prostrate running stems, which produce roots and new plants at the nodes, and more or less erect flowering stems. The basal leaves are compound, borne on a 4–20 cm long petiole and divided into three broad leaflets 1.5–8 cm long, shallowly to deeply lobed, each of which is stalked.
The leaves higher on the stems are smaller, with narrower leaflets and may be simple and lanceolate. Both the stems and the leaves are finely hairy. The flowers are bright golden yellow, 2–3 cm diameter, usually with five petals, and the flower stem is finely grooved. The fruit is a cluster of achenes 2.5–4 mm long. Creeping buttercup has three-lobed dark green, white-spotted leaves that grow out of the node. It grows in fields and pastures and prefers wet soil.
Like most buttercups, Ranunculs repens is poisonous, although when dried with hay these poisons are lost. The taste of buttercups is acrid, so cattle avoid eating them. The plants then take advantage of the cropped ground around it to spread their stolons. Creeping buttercup also is spread through the transportation of hay. Contact with the sap of the plant can cause skin blistering.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.