Ranunculus acris (Meadow Buttercup)

Scientific Name

Ranunculus acris L.

Common Names

Meadow Buttercup, Tall Buttercup, Common Buttercup, Giant Buttercup


Ranunculus acris var. acris, Ranunculus acris f. acris, Ranunculastrum acre, Ranunculastrum boraeanum, Ranunculastrum nemorivagum, Ranunculastrum vulgatum

Scientific Classification

Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Ranunculoideae
Tribe: Ranunculeae
Genus: Ranunculus


Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May to July


Ranunculus acris is variable in appearance across the world. It is a somewhat hairy plant that has ascending ungrooved flowing stems bearing bright yellow flowers up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) across. There are five overlapping petals borne above five green sepals that soon turn yellow as the flower matures. It has numerous stamens inserted below the ovary. The leaves are compound, with three-lobed leaflets. Unlike Ranunculus repens, the terminal leaflet is sessile. As with other members of the genus, the numerous seeds are borne as achenes.

Ranunculus acris - Meadow Buttercup
Photo via pixabay.com


USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Growing Ranunculus flowers start with planted roots or tubers. Often called Ranunculus bulbs, tubers are different but have similar structures and purposes to the more common bulb. Plant the bulbs or tubers in fall for a glorious spring display.

Growing Ranunculus flowers requires well-drained soil and full sun for the best results. Soak the tubers and then plant than with the roots or fingers pointed downward at a depth of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm), depending on the size of the bulbs.

It is an easy flower to grow. Care of Ranunculus to ensure yearly displays may require that you pull out the tubers at the end of the season. Allow the foliage to almost completely die back and then dig out the tubers. Lay them in a cool, dry place to evaporate all the moisture from the bulbs. Store the tubers in a dark location until spring and then start them indoors in pots. Replant outside when all danger of frost is passed, and the first true leaves are evident. See more at How to Grow and Care for Ranunculus.


It is one of the more common buttercups across Europe and temperate Eurasia.


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