In the Wild
Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
Meadow Buttercup (R. acris)
*Also known as tall buttercup
There are many species of buttercups and some have been hybridized for the garden. The most familiar are the wild ones that carpet the countryside in spring. The creeping buttercup is a low-growing plant; however, it can reach almost a foot high in areas that are not mowed. Its leaves are deeply lobed and heavily veined. The meadow buttercup grows from one to three feet tall. Its leaves are similar but have a feathery appearance.
Buttercups have shiny, cup-shaped flowers that are, well, the color of butter. The Latin genus name Ranunculus means “little frog,” referring to the damp places that frogs and these plants like.38 The meadow buttercup’s species name acris means “bitter.” 39 This is a reference to how it affects the soil around it and limits the growth of other plants. Although these plants can cause skin irritation, the toxins they contain evaporate as they dry out.
Many of us remember the childhood game of holding a flower under someone’s chin to determine whether or not he or she liked butter. The yellow reflection or shine meant they did. This was also used to tell whether or not someone was telling the truth, was jealous, or in love with the person holding the flower.
Associated with the sun and positive thoughts, buttercups can be used in spells to attract abundance. Place a bowl of flowers on your altar to aid in deepening your spiritual commitment and to invite ancient wisdom. Dry several sprigs of flowers and leaves for use in spells to manifest your dreams.
Buttercup’s astrological influence comes from the fixed star Procyon.