The plant family name Ranunculus comes from Latin, meaning “little frog,” perhaps because some species live in water. The round flowers, sometimes called the roses of spring, have buttery, highly lustrous petals to help them attract pollinators. Hybrids we grow come from Persian buttercup (ranunculus asiaticus), which evolved to live in areas of the Mediterranean where winters are short and cool and summers are hot and dry, making conditions unbearable for them. At that time of year, the foliage dies back and the plants go dormant until the snow melt of early spring “wakes” them up again. Ranunculus are toxic to animals and humans, sometimes causing sickness in livestock so exercise caution around children and pets.
Bloom time: April-May