Wednesday, April 21, 2010

butter cup


Ranunculus (repens?)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
(by way of Wikipedia)

Recycle from may of last year, however the Buttercups are coming in strong. It appears there are several varieties in this area, but I am not ready to tackle the differences.

The name buttercup is applied casually to any number of small yellow field flowers, though most of the time it is applied to members of the Ranunculus genus. One of the strong characteristics of this flower type is not only multiple stamen (male part) but multiple pistils. (female component.)

I'll try to get a better picture to illustrate the flourish. Until then, here is a better picture by way of backyard nature:

One of the notable characteristics of the featured buttercup is its affinity for drainage areas and wet soil, and its notable waxy sheen. (Which in turn makes it more difficult to photograph). This variety always has five petals.

There is a small irony in the location of Arkansas's field buttercups. They seem to take well to pastureland, and can sometimes be seen distinctly within the perimeters of places where cattle feed. Some varieties of Buttercup are called cowslip, because (I imagine) they slip so easily through cows. On the other hand, buttercups are poisonous, and can blister the mouths of cattle.

For more information on all things Ranunculus see:

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