A genus of several hundred species found throughout
the world. Ranunculus asiaticus, or Turban Buttercup,
is an old garden favourite of a foot high with
elegantly cut foliage and double yellow flowers,
one and a half inches across.
From this species come the garden varieties known
as Turkish, with orange, yellow or purple flowers;
Persian, with double and single flowers of every
shade except blue.
This is a species with tuberous roots, comprising
claw-like fangs that are placed facing downwards
Ranunculus aconitifolius flore-pleno, known as
Fair Maids of France, is densely covered with
small white flowers of rosette-like form.
Ranunculus acris flore-pleno, the Batchelor’s
Button, will attain two feet, with button-like
rosettes of rich yellow.
Ranunculus amplexicaulis, six to twelve inches
high, has single flowers of white.
Ranunculus lyallii, from New Zealand, is a gem
with waxy white flowers, two to three inches across.
It requires alpine garden conditions.
The tuberous-rooted kinds demand a sandy soil,
rich in humus and moist.
Propagate tuberous-rooted species by offsets and
the remainder by division.
Flowering is from April to September.
Six inches to two feet.
Flowers white or yellow, April to August.
The herbaceous Ranunculi are close relations
of the Common Buttercup, and like it prefers a
moist loam verging on clay.
The following kinds should be planted in borders,
and left to themselves for some years; they must
have moisture, and will stand shade.
R. aconitifolius plenus “Fair Maids of
France”. Eighteen inches, double white flowers
in May and June.
R. acris plenus “Bachelor’s Buttons”
resembles the last, but the flowers are bright
Tuberous or Asiatic.
A hardy though somewhat capricious plant. The
roots are small irregular tubers, more or less
forky; they do best when planted in February,
two inches deep and about six apart.
The soil must be moist, but not water-logged or
sour; avoid fresh manure; the loamy clay in which
the Buttercup is at home will suit the Ranunculus.
Weed the bed as the spring advances, water if
The flowers are due in May and June, close-petalled
and globular, like little roses; the colours range
from white through yellow, orange, scarlet, rose,
to deep purple, either selfs or edged and striped.
The class called Turban Ranunculus is rather more
robust than the Persian, but whether these, the
French or the Scotch varieties are planted, the
beginner must be prepared for disappointment.
The Ranunculus is not everybody’s flower;
where it thrives, few things are better worth
growing, but in gardens where it is evidently
not happy, it is a mistake to fight against Nature.
As soon as the foliage dies off, the tubers should
be taken up, cleaned and dried, and kept dry and
cool until next planting time