Interesting things about buttercups and wildflowers

When I went to Daniels Brook I saw 2 types of Buttercup bulbous and meadow Butercup A few of the identification features for bulbous is its tall and has downward sepals and the meadow is tall and has upward sepals aswell

Bulbous Buttercup

Meadow Buttercup

When I saw the 2 I noticed something very interesting the bulbous buttercup was less shiny and glossy than the meadow buttercup and I don’t know if anyone else has wondered this but familys like buttercup for instance have things in common with each other some more similar than others some less similar has anyone ever wondered how and why some wild plants like buttercups through evolution grew to look Similar like bulbous and Meadow but at the same time grow to be different species still. You would think in the past they might of used to be the same but evolved to become different enough to be different species over many generations

You have made some interesting comments here. Charles Darwin also looked at these issues in his book “On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.” The whole book is shown below although you have to get the hang of that website to read it all.

We also looked at this issue trying to understand how the different buttercups could survive together in the same field.

Sell & Murrell have 91 species of Ranunculus present in Britain, but 58 of them are apomicts of the Ranunculus auricomus agg. (and the goldilocks buttercup I saw at a couple of sites a year or so back is likely not any of those) and 16 are crowfoots. It also includes the lesser celandine, which is less related to buttercups, spearworts and crowfoots than are Adonis and Myosurus.

The three British grassland buttercups (R. acris, R. bulbosus and R. repens), though they all belong to a speciose clade consisting of sections Polyanthemos, Echinella, Trisecti, Ranunculus, Oreophili, Ranunculastrum and Euromontani, - which excludes spearworts, crowfoots, goldilocks buttercups and some other groups - are not particularly closely related… R. bulbosus and R. repens belong to section Polyanthemos, which is sister to the remainder of the clade; within this section R. bulbosus is relatively close to R. sardous (hairy buttercup), which also has reflexed sepals. R. acris belongs to section Ranunculus as does R. parviflorus (small-flowered buttercup); R. arvensis (corn buttercup) belongs to section Echinella.

Evolutionary-classification-A-case-study-on-the-diverse-plant-genus-Ranunculus-L-Ranunculaceae.pdf (

The three common grassland buttercups differ ecologically, though there’s considerable overlap. My impression is that R. repens prefers wetter sites, while R. bulbosus likes close-cropped (or mown) grass. R. repens is present throughout the year, while R. acris mostly disappears overwinter, and R. bulbosus is mostly a spring plant.

Thanks. Thats interesting

Its interesting that you say that cause I thought Id go outside and see since I saw some big buttercups in the garden the one on my side that has less grass doesn’t usually need mowing cause the right side of the garden that side of the grass grows longest but people still want to mow the whole garden and not just the long grass side for some reason so even though the short side isn’t too long and only gets random tufts at certain spots the area with the short grass had A bulbous buttercup and the side with the long grass just had 2 meadow buttercups.
As you can see here

This is where the short grass side of the garden is but this part on that side gets more shade than sunlight and it’s near my bird bath so conditions could be different to the side with the meadow buttercup

On the right side was meadow buttercup where the grass is very very long

So both buttercups differant species same family growing in different conditions bulbous buttercup in the shade where it’s dry but near my bird bath meadow in the long grass side where it gets more sunlight

I don’t think Goldilocks buttercup is as common as meadow and bulbous buttercup

I’ve only seen Goldilocks Buttercup at two sites - on adjoining country lanes. It generally has missing or deformed petals, but the safe way to distinguish it from Ranunculus acris is that is glabrous, and the latter is noticeably hairy.