Ranunculus - Ranunculus asiaticus


Flower that was very present in our area even in the wild, the buttercup is highly sought after for the time of flowering, which is one of the first. It blooms in late winter or early spring.
The buttercups that are more easily found on the market are the orientalis: they are declined in an infinity of colors, shapes and sizes and have become very popular as cut flowers and secondarily as garden plants.
The genus Ranunculus asiaticus is actually composed of many species, many really interesting to adorn our green space, whether there are borders, rocky areas or a spontaneous-looking meadow.
First name: Ranunculus Asiaticus
Common name: Buttercup
Family: Ranunculaceae
Bulb type: tuberous root
Bulb size: from 5 cm to 10 cm

Characteristics of the flower

The shape is circular (about 5 cm in diameter). The colors can be: orange, pink, red, white and yellow. It does not present any fragrance. It flowers from winter to spring.


Buttercups mostly bloom in spring or summer. They are generally easy to cultivate and it is very easy to find a suitable location for them. They generally prefer damp environments and their petals vary from white to intense yellow.
The genus includes about 400 species, including annuals and perennials. They come from almost the entire planet, although most are native to the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.
The name ranunculus asiaticus derives from the Greek and means small frog: it probably refers to the fresh and humid environments in which it is frequent to see them grow.
The most widespread species in the gardens are essentially thirty, mostly lively: there are some suitable for rock gardens, borders, flower meadows, some can even be used as aquatic plants.
The roots can be fibrous, but very often they turn out to be small bulbs or tubers. They are then characterized by a basal head of petiolate, toothed, lobed or incised leaves. The stems, on the other hand, generally bear smaller leaves and end with cup-shaped flowers, mostly solitary. The petals are often almost translucent and are mostly declined in shades of yellow and white, although red, purple, orange and green are also present more rarely.

Family, genus species
Ranunculaceae, gen. ranunculus, more than 400 species
Type of plant Herbaceous, mostly lively rhizomatous
Loans Edging, ground cover, rock garden, natural lawns
Exposure Full sun, but almost all tolerate the partial shade
Ground Generally rich and moist, even near ponds. Some species want it well drained
Flowering Spring Summer
colors Yellow, white, orange, red, purple
Rest period Dry after flowering to return in spring

Plant characteristics

It can reach a height of 40 cm. The leaves are light green. In nature there is a large amount of plants belonging to the genus ranunculus asiaticus and these differ from each other in aspects such as the number and shape of the leaves, the color of the flowers, the number of the petals and their arrangement.
Ornamental buttercups are usually the most appreciated and cultivated because of their very elegant and rich flower, but they are not the only types of cultivated buttercups.

Cultivation methods

Soil: Must be well drained.
Planting period: Autumn or spring
Depth of planting: The bulb must be covered with about 5 cm of soil. The distance between the bulbs must be 7/10 cm.
Light: Full sun.

Diseases and pests

All plants need care, some especially. The buttercup does not need particular attention but often presents problems during the vegetative period. In this case you will be able to see areas where the rhizomes have darker spots due to rot. The remedy is to reduce irrigation without drying out the soil.
As for pests and other diseases, we can say that the buttercup is a rather strong plant and is almost never attacked. In any case, it is good to use specific products that can prevent the problem as light pesticides that can be purchased at gardening stores or nurseries.

Buttercup cultivation

They are generally herbaceous and very easy to cultivate and like slightly moist and rich soils with half-shade to full sun exposure. However, since the genre is so broad it is good to describe in detail the specific needs.

Ranunculus aconitifolius

Up to 20 cm high, it is very graceful as a supporting actor in mixed borders or in rocky gardens. It was introduced in cultivation in the 16th century and various cultivars were obtained. The most famous is undoubtedly the flowering pleno characterized by very full double corollas that give a great sense of lightness thanks to the highly branched stems. It tolerates a large number of different exposures, from full sun to full shade.
The species has at its base a tuft of dark green leaves. The leaves are toothed and are divided into 5 leaflets that take the form of a hand (they are particularly similar to those of the aconitum napellum).
Flowering occurs at the beginning of the summer with a large number of pure white with a yellow center, of about 2 cm in diameter. The stems are erect and very branched, which makes the plant very elegant and able to blend elegantly with the rest of the vegetation. Once the flowers have withered the dry aerial part, reappearing the following spring. It wants fertile soils, capable of always retaining a minimum of humidity.

Ranunculus acris

Known by all as gold botton. It is a very common flower in hill and mountain meadows throughout Europe and Asia, very variable in terms of the shape and color of the flower.
The species is characterized by short rhizomes and a tuft of basal leaves tomentose subdivided into segments (up to 7). It generally flowers from May to July, bringing corollas of a beautiful golden yellow, translucent, of about 2 cm of diameter, on very ramified and erect stems that can reach even a meter in height.
Cultivation is very simple: it likes sunny positions, with rich and always moist soil, even near water courses. It is also well suited to growing at height. Citrinus the corollas are of a more subtle yellow and the lower stems. Flore pleno flowers in pompom of a beautiful bright yellow. The stems, about 70 cm high, are very erect, do not fear the wind and are almost totally devoid of leaves. Very suitable for borders. Stevenii can easily pass the height meter. It spreads easily thanks to its rhizomes. The flowers are double to stradoppi.

Ranunculus amplexicaulis

Herbaceous, coming from the alpine areas of Spain, very suitable for the rock garden due to its compactness (generally not exceeding 20 cm) and to the delicacy of flowering. It forms a low head with smooth, oval gray leaves, slightly pelosette. The flowers are cup-shaped with a yellow center and 5 white or pinkish petals. They want a moist soil with sunny or slightly shady exposure.

Ranunculus bulbosus

Also suitable for the rock garden or as an excellent ground cover thanks to the beautiful flowering and the pleasant leaves. The basal ones are tomentose and divided into three segments. From the base branch the floral stems bearing corollas of a beautiful bright yellow, at the end of spring. Their diameter is about 2 cm. They are very easy to cultivate, as long as there is a fairly well drained soil and a sunny exposure.

Ranunculus costantinopolitanus

Rather widespread in the spontaneous state, but known in gardens as a rock garden plant, ground cover or lawn, especially in its variant with double flowers. The leaves are very decorative, thanks to the deep incisions that divide it into narrow segments. It flowers in June, with beautiful very full yellow corollas, about 3 cm in diameter.

Ranunculus ficaria

Herbaceous with fibrous and tuberous roots originating in Europe, northern Africa and Asia, in damp environments such as meadows and forests. It is very easy to grow: it prefers fresh soils, rich in humus. The exhibition is indifferent, as it thrives well in all conditions.
The species has round, smooth leaves, of a beautiful dark green, with serrated edges. The flower stems generally carry only one flower towards the end of spring and, subsequently, enter into vegetative rest. The corollas are shallow cupped and can be composed of a minimum of 7 up to 13 petals. It spreads with extreme ease through seed, so it is advisable to always keep them clean or insert only sterile cultivars in the garden. Centred with orange petals that fade over time creating a beautiful contrasting effect. The leaves have silver streaks. Brambling with leaves of particular color and shape: bronze and triangular. Branzen hussy leaves from brown to red, very shiny majors up to 40 cm high, from the Black Sea area, have very large leaves and flowers. Suitable for the first line of mixed borders.Anemone Centred very sought after variety thanks to the beautiful deep yellow double flowers with an outer ring of petals open in the same shade. It does not produce seeds. Coppernob has orange-colored petals and brown leaves. Create an exceptional contrast. Green Petal very particular for the unusual green petals. Ken Aslet double very elegant for its small and white flowers with yellow-green center- Also suitable for the aquatic garden. Picton's Double with double yellow lime flowers with a green center and bronze petals. Of great impact. Salmon's White has creamy white flowers. The back of the petals is green, but over time it turns towards the blue. This is then found in perfect agreement with the leaves characterized by silvery reflections, as well as the margins.

Ranunculus gramineus

It has very thin and particular leaves, very similar to those of grass. Even their color is particular, as it turns, with time towards the glaucous. The flowers are a beautiful bright yellow, about 25 cm high on thin and erect stems that bear up to 3. It is a very robust and reliable plant, very suitable for the natural mixed border. It wants well-drained soil, but rich, in full sun or in partial shade. It is found spontaneously in most of Italy, particularly in the central Apennines, in the Alps of the south-west of Piedmont and in Sardinia.

Ranununculus montanus

Rhizomatous root plant with basal leaves similar to those of geranium. The stems, up to an average of 15 cm tall, single, have yellow cup-shaped flowers from May to July, with a diameter of about 3 cm. Very widespread in the spontaneous state on all European heights. The Molten gold cultivar reaches a maximum height of 10 cm and is a precious dwarf ground cover. Very decorative thanks to its glossy leaves and very vivid and evident flowers. It wants moist and rich soils, in full sun or in partial shade.

Ranunculus - Ranunculus asiaticus: Ranunculus repens

In its spontaneous state it is very often invasive. However, they have created double forms that are less self-disseminating and therefore very useful in gardens, especially as a ground cover. It tends to spread even through the stolon roots, but this can also be useful in some circumstances. It has leaves up to 9 cm in diameter, oval. In summer it produces erect stems bearing yellow flowers, of about 2 cm. It wants moist soil, even near ponds or wetlands and sunny or partial shade exposure. A beautiful shape with double corollas is available.
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