07 Jan Ranunculus
Native to Asia and celebrated for its medicinal properties as well as its bright beauty, the small camellia-like ranunculus ranges from white to pink, red to yellow to orange. Also known as Buttercup and Coyote’s Eyes, legend has it that the mythological Coyote was tossing his eyes up in the air and catching them when Eagle snatched them. Unable to see, Coyote created eyes from the buttercup.
The name Ranunculus comes from rana, which is Latin for frog, and refers to the wet boggy places where these plants are found in the wild.
With their many-petalled, peony-like flowers, these tubers make delightful additions to border or container plantings and are highly valued as long-lasting cut flowers.They can be planted in autumn to flower in early spring, whilst early spring plantings will produce slightly later flowers. They enjoy a warm, sunny position, in soil which remains moist (not waterlogged) during the growing period, with a dry rest after flowering. In cold areas, autumn plantings are best started in pots, under cover.
A Ranunculus can last over a week, making them an ideal choice for a bride’s bouquet, a wedding centerpiece, or a mailed gift. Even after the petals fall from a Ranunculus outside, it is very amusing to watch the fuzzy black center continue to elongate.