Definitions

Ranunculus acris

Ranunculus acris

Ranunculus acris (Meadow buttercup, Tall buttercup) is one of the more common buttercups across Europe and temperate Eurasia. It is a somewhat hairy plant that has ascending flowing stems bearing glossy yellow flowers about 25 mm across. There are five overlapping petals borne above 5 green sepals that soon turn yellow as the flower matures.

It has numerous stamens inserted below the ovary and blooms from May to July. As for other members of the genus, the numerous seeds are borne as achenes.

When Buttercup plants are handled, naturally occurring ranunculin is broken down to form protoanemonin which is known to cause contact dermatitis in humans and care should therefore be exercised in excessive handling of the plants. The toxins are degraded by drying, so hay containing dried buttercups is safe.

Commonly known as 'Meadow Buttercup', 'Tall Buttercup', or 'Tall Field Buttercup'.


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