Ranunculus neopolitanus

Naples buttercup                                                                                                 Βατράχιο

Ranunculaceae - buttercup family                                                                             Dicot.


“Do you like butter?”

tall shiny yellow buttercup, Ranunculus neopolitanus, line the tracks leading to the olive groves, resembling the buttercups which grow along the English country lanes. It is not the same buttercup as found in Northern Europe but a Mediterranean species, flowering in early spring and producing seeds before the onset of summer heat and drought. The preference of most buttercups for damp shady places gives rise to their scientific name Ranunculus meaning little frog.

The yellow petals seem to emit light and when held under the chin in the childhood game, “Do you like butter”, shed a yellow haze on the skin. This unusual phenomenon is a result of a reflective layer of air under the surface of the petals, which makes them appear to glow in the dark.

Fresh buttercups are poisonous to both humans and animals but dried they are harmless, so hay containing buttercups in hay is safe.

Ranunculus from rana - Latin for frog + unculus - Latin suffix for diminutive  -i.e. little frog, also used to mean tadpole

neoploitanus - from Italian Napoli for Naples

20-25mm,  30-75cm, , W                                       JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Ranunculus sardous
Hairy buttercupRanunculus_sardous.html
Ranunculus muricatus
Rough-seeded buttercupRanunculus_muricatus.html