It’s Day 3 of Cathy’s flower-sharing challenge to cheer up these damp, gloomy days we seem to have settled into at the start of winter.
Today I wanted to share one of the most cheerful sights I can think of from spring: Buttercups in a local meadow. I do have a set-aside meadow patch in our garden in which I encourage as many British wild flowers as I can. Some flowers seem to come and go, some I specifically spot plant to see how they get on in the location and some, like buttercup, creep in/float in from somewhere undefined. However, my patch hasn’t reached this density of gold yet, hence this shot of the meadow in the village. My guess is that it’s a mixture of the creeping, meadow and bulbous Ranunculus species, but I didn’t check !
Here’s an interesting fact about buttercups: Their petals have a thin layer of air trapped between the cells which is very efficient at reflecting light (possibly to make them more visible to pollinating insects). It is likely the reason why it can be difficult to get good photographs of the flowers.
For the last couple of years I have also been growing buttercups big cousin, Ranunculus asiaticus. This is next shot is of R. ‘Picotee Café’, which is a favourite, but actually doesn’t compare in glory to a field of the wild ones!
When I was raking up leaves earlier in the week, I noticed that the R. ‘Picotee Café’ are already putting out their leaves in preparation for next year. So that’s cheering!
If you too want to spread some floral joy, simply post a photo of a flower(s) and to link to Cathy’s blog.
Have a great day!
Oh, floral joy indeed! What a fabulous sight! The Ranunculus is pretty in its own right but can’t compare to its cousins en masse! 😃
Cheers! There is something wonderful about fields of buttercups.
I think you have to go a long way to beat the glory of a field of buttercups in full bloom. Sometime simple flowers en masse can put even the most highly bred garden variety in the shade.
Definitely! It’s a similar thing here with ox-eye daisies too
Yellow is such an uplifting colour 💛 and I love the colour of the ranunculus.
I agree. Funny thing is that I used to hate most yellow flowers, but that has definitely changed over time.
What an interesting fact about buttercups, that would also explain why they ‘shine’ when placed under the chin – as children we used to do this to see if we liked butter, I believe.
Oh yes, we did that too! It does beg the question as to whether anyone ever doesn’t like butter though 🤣
It was interesting to read the tidbit about the air-trapping cells. Some of our native species literally shine in any kind of light, so much so that photographing them can be a challenge. This helps to explain why.
🙂 The director of Cambridge Botanics has a particular interest in how floral features developed to attract pollinating insect, which includes quite a lot of stuff on reflected light. https://www.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/directory/glover-beverley
Thanks for that link. Her publication on iridescence was filled with enough understandable detail to keep my interest all the way through!
Magnificent meadow! I have some Ranunculus to try.
Oh, good luck! What colour are they? I have a hankering for white with pink edges now 😉
It is a surprise. Actually, it they flower it will be a surprise as I have never seen any.
One of my earliest memories is picking buttercups and bringing them to my mother. They still dazzle me!
Lovely! We used to make crowns from them 🙂
My goodness, that ranunculus is stunning! But so is your field of buttercups – and what an interesting fact about them. I was going to mention the buttercup under the chin of our childhoods, but Rosie has already mentioned it 😁