Lesser Celandine

Ranunculus ficaria

Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria

This just has to be one of my very favourite spring wild flowers. Areas of the my local woods are carpeted in these vivid yellow blooms.

Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria

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.

Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria

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.

Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria leaf

Marsh Marigold

Caltha palustris

Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris

Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris

This water-loving plant produces large, vivid yellow buttercup-like flowers. The large green leaves are heart-shaped with long stalks.

Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris

Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris leaves

It flowers March to June, and is found growing in clumps in damp places, including marshes, bogs, stream margins and pools. Common and widespread.

Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris

April 2012, local canal, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012.

Celery-leaved Buttercup

Ranunculus sceleratus

Celery-leaved Buttercup Ranunculus sceleratus

This is alway a pleasure to see when I walk near the local pond. Also called ‘Cursed Buttercup’, ‘Blister Buttercup’, and ‘Marsh Crowfoot’, amongst other names, this wetland loving annual herb has very small bright yellow flowers. It has distinctive small thimble-shaped fruit and glossy palmately lobed leaves which are hairless.

Celery-leaved Buttercup Ranunculus sceleratus

The foliage of this plant is more toxic than most Ranunculus, and during earlier times beggars used to smear the juices of the leaves on their arms and faces to create blisters to try to solicit favours or fortune in sympathy.

Celery-leaved Buttercup Ranunculus sceleratus buds

It flowers May to September, and is found growing out of the water in marshes, ditches, ponds and lake margins, wet tracks, and woodland rides. Common and widespread.

Celery-leaved Buttercup Ranunculus sceleratus leaves

Celery-leaved Buttercup Ranunculus sceleratus


September 2011 and May 2015, local pond, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011 and 2015.

 

Creeping Buttercup

Ranunculus repens

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) flower

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) flower

Whole fields filled with these bright golden-yellow buttercups can be seen in early summer. The flowers have five petals, and the hairy leaves are triangular in outline and are divided into three coarsely toothed lobes. The fruits are rounded. It produces rooting runners which help the plant to spread and colonise the ground very quickly.

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) leaf

It flowers May to September. Found almost anywhere, but mainly damp nutrient-rich soils like meadows, marshes, fens, woodland clearings and rides, lake margins, waste ground , arable land and in gardens. Native, common and widespread throughout.

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)


May 2015, local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2015. Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.