Friday, April 22, 2011

Ranunculus ficaria 'Limelight'

Laziness is about to end. I think. I hope. I took a bunch of pictures yesterday so I have no excuses for not sharing some interesting plants with all of you.
Today's picture is Ranunculus ficaria 'Limelight'. A buttercup. I've seen it called Fig Buttercup and Creeping Buttercup (proper common name is Lesser Celandine), but although the clumps increase in size gradually over time, I'd be more inclined to think of it more of a jumping buttercup as I find new tiny plants some distance from the mother plant. The species is listed as invasive in some states, but these cultivated types don't seem to fit that description. This one has green leaves with silvery markings and the usual shiny yellow flowers, more single than double, but with a nice puff of stamens in the center. It likes light shade or morning sun and afternoon shade. Mine original clump grows in a sort of rock garden spot - not a real rock garden, but a bit of a terraced spot behind the greenhouse. The leaves come up first thing in the spring, even before the daffodils are in bloom and the flowers follow a few weeks later. The flowers don't open on rainy or very cloudy days - just when you need their cheery yellow. The clump is rather ground hugging, not more than 2 inches tall. The leaves themselves are about the size of a quarter, so this is a rather diminutive plant. As with most of our other ranunculus, at least the ficarias, it will go dormant when the heat of summer arrives. Grows in zones 4-9 which seems about right since the species is native from Europe to northern Africa.
This is one of four that we grow, though we also grow several other Ranunculuses (my proper Latin says that's not the plural, but - whatever) that are not ficarias, though all have those lovely shiny yellow flowers. This particular one doesn't seem that easy to find, but if you're interested in collecting these buttercups, Arrowhead Alpines is an excellent source.
See you all tomorrow.

No comments: