Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Angela's top 20 wild flowers; Number 18 is Meadow Buttercup


insects just adore the cheery yellow buttercup flowers
 This flower has got to be one of the brightest, cheeriest wild flowers there are.  I have enduring memories of friends from primary school holding buttercups under each others' chins to "see if you like butter".  I never did understand how the trick worked, but it was certainly a strong playground tradition, nearly as strong as "kiss chase" and hopscotch.

buttercups in a traditionally managed meadow in Norfolk
 I was so glad to see Meadow Buttercup included in the seed mix for Meadowmat wild flower matting, so far they've not appeared in my own little patch, but there's still time, it was only installed 9 months ago and some species need a hard frost before the seeds will germinate.  No shortage of frost in my garden tonight, so maybe I'll be lucky this year.

Flowering from early spring onwards, this is one of the wild flowers that is abundant in the traditionally managed meadow on one of my regular dog walks.  I didn't realise until reading Sarah Raven's book "Wild Flowers" that the flowers and stems of Ranunculus acris (Meadow Buttercup) are unpalatable to grazing animals---not poisonous, for they quite like buttercups in hay---but with a bitter taste that I suppose ensures the flowers stay around long enough to set seed.  Ingenious.

Next post will be Maxine Tricker's ideas for using wild flowers in garden design .... keep checking the blog, I've read the article and it's too good to miss
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