Ranunculus: buttercup

Height 30-38cm (12-15in)

Planting distance 10-15cm (4-6in)

Flowers early and mid summer

Humus-rich, well-drained soil

Sunny site

Tubers available late winter to mid spring

Most species in the Ranunculus genus are herbaceous annuals or aquatic plants. The turban buttercup Ranunculus asiaticus is an exception, however, being a bulbous plant with tuberous roots. It is half-hardy in all but the mildest areas so plant the tubers in spring for summer flowering, then lift and store during the winter.

Each stem bears a semi-double or fully double peony-like flower. The flowers come in whites, pinks, apricots, oranges, reds and yellows and are usually sold as a mixed selection. The blooms last a long time when cut, making them popular with flower arrangers, though they are also useful for providing colour in borders.


Plant the tubers with their clawlike roots pointing downwards, placing them 5cm (2in) deep and 10-15cm (4-6in) apart. The well-drained soil should be enriched with well-rotted manure or garden compost and the site must be in full sun.

Lift the tubers when the leaves turn yellow in autumn, dry and store them in dry sand in a frost-free place over winter.


Separate clusters of tubers in autumn.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Ranunculus: buttercup


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