Meet Ranunculus, a delicate, springtime flower with multi-layered petals. Don’t let the name put you off, these beautiful bloomers stand tall on straight stems and have a long vase life – making them a firm favourite for many florists. With layers of ruffled petals in a rainbow of hues, these flowers add vibrancy, texture, and a splash of colour to any home. A symbol of admiration and love, it’s also no wonder Ranunculus is such a popular wedding flower.
Ever wondered why Ranunculus petals glow so vibrantly? And why some people refer to them as coyote’s eyes? Read on for some fascinating facts about this much-loved flower.
Fun facts about Ranunculus
- Most commonly known as the buttercup, Ranunculus belongs to the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family.
- There are over 600 species of Ranunculus.
- These vibrant flowers originated from Central Asia.
- Send Ranunculus to show your admiration. In the Victorian era, people would send these flowers to those they loved or admired. Today, they remain an immensely popular choice, and a gift of a dozen stems is bound to brighten someone’s day.
- They’re a long-lasting flower, ideal for cutting, and can live in a vase for 8 days – 2 weeks if properly looked after.
- In Latin, Ranunculus means ‘little frog’. It combines the Latin words: ‘Rana’ (meaning frog) and ‘unculus’ (meaning little). The bulbs flourish near bodies of water and grow naturally along streams, hence this cute little nickname.
- Each flower has between 100 to 130 petals, making them voluminous and abundant in appearance. The petals peel open one by one, slowly revealing a darker-coloured centre.
- The whole flowering plant is known for its medicinal properties. In traditional medicine, dried petals were used to soothe body aches and sore joints, and the roots were used to treat skin ailments such as warts.
- Ranunculus were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century during the reign of Elizabeth I, along with Tulips and Anemones.
- Ranging in colour from pastel pinks to fiery reds, these flowers also come in white, cream, yellow, orange, gold and purple.
- When it’s cold, the flower keeps itself warm by forming its petals into a cup shape to collect sunlight. This makes a magnificent home for insects and bugs who flock to its centre for warmth.
- Ranunculus plants play a fascinating role in Persian and Native American culture; the flowers are tied to old tales of a lovesick Persian prince who was turned into a flower, as well as a Native American coyote whose eyes were stolen by an eagle and replaced by two buttercups.
- Ranunculus stems grow up to 30cm in height with fern-like leaves. These long stalks make the plant ideal for cutting and arranging in a vase, where they can last for over a week.
- Their delicate petals are paper thin and resemble the texture of crepe paper.
- A word of warning: Ranunculus plants are toxic to humans and animals when eaten fresh. They might be great to look at, but not to eat!
- Long ago, people used to think that the rich, yellow colour of butter was caused by the yellow Ranunculus (buttercups) eaten by cows. This, of course, is false, as they are toxic to humans and animals (see fact 15)!
- They are a much-loved wedding flower, often used in floral arrangements, wedding centrepieces and bridal bouquets.
- Ranunculus won’t wilt when dried, but their colour will fade over time.
- Remember the buttercup game… where you would hold a flower up to your chin to see if you like butter? Yellow Ranunculus petals reflect UV light. Unlike most plant petals, which are corrugated, their petals have mirror-flat cells that bounce the light back. This special trick helps them to attract bees.
- Ranunculus still grows in the wild, but some species are now considered endangered due to habitat destruction and invasive species.
- They’re the birth flower for people born in January.
- Most varieties have no scent. Perfect for those who are sensitive to smell!
Ranunculus: a vibrant, versatile flower!
A symbol of love and admiration, Ranunculus are the perfect gift for that special someone. Beautiful blooms, vibrant hues, and a long vase life, what’s not to love? These beauties are guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Our Prague range currently features the Ranunculus in all its glory. What are you waiting for? Send a bouquet to someone you love!