Belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, each flower head has between eight and twelve golden-yellow petals, which close when it rains, then opens in the sun. The leaves are a glossy dark green and heart-shaped. The flower develops into a small green fruit.
One of the first blooms to appear in spring, it flowers March to May, and is found in dampish habitats, out in the open or in partial shade. They can be seen in hedgerows, woodland margins and open woodland, and near water such as ponds, rivers and streams. They grow insular or may carpet large areas of ground. A common and widespread species.