Ranunculas are not the tidiest of plants – their stems are anarchic and curve in an untidy manner, while their leaves are messy and grow low on the stem. But their peony-like flowers with their numerous swirls of tissue-like petals in pink, white, red, orange or yellow, are irresistible and their common name of ‘Turban Buttercup’ is an apt description. Part of their charm is to plonk them in a vase and let them settle any which way, alternatively their leaves can be stripped off and their stems straightened with wires for a more formal look.
The name Ranunculus comes from the latin ‘rana’ which means frog, and as their cousins are the moisture-loving marsh marigolds, buttercups and celandines, perhaps that is the association. In the Language of Flowers, to give someone a posy of Ranunculas is to say you find them attractive.
Ranunculas come as bulbs and can be planted either in autumn or spring, to flower the following spring or summer. They grow to 12-16 inches and benefit from regular cutting – because like sweet peas, the more you cut, the more they bloom.
Order No: F042 Yellow and white tulips