CREEPING BUTTERCUP (Ranunculus repens)

Creeping Buttercups

Europe, Asia, NW Africa

This wildflower favours damp shady spots, putting out a formidable network of roots & runners. It has the reputation of being a weed and a nuisance in gardens.

“Creeping Buttercup is our most familar Buttercup – the buttery-yellow flowers are like little drops of sunshine peppering garden lawns, parks, woods and fields.”¬† The Wildlife Trusts

The hairy, lightly spotted leaves of Creeping Buttercup are divided into three lobes with frayed edges. Between May & August, its bright, glossy YELLOW flowers appear. They are pollinated by short-tongued bees attracted by the nectar & pollen.

Creeping Buttercups closeup crop

Creeping Buttercup with insect







Ours is a shy and retiring Buttercup. It has grown here against a strip of wood from the old greenhouse for decades, only ever managing a few flowers per season. When moved across the path to the shady border in 2013, it flowered prolifically.


In 2014 the neighbouring Ivy had a good year and overgrew the Buttercup. During 2015, only a few morsels of Ranunculus repens remained.

Other names: Crazy Moir, Creeping Crowfoot, Devil, Sitfast, Yellow Cups.



Here at the Highbury Wildlife Garden we also had Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) for a season. This plant’s flowers are similar to those of our resident Buttercup, but its leaves are deeply divided.


Other names: Gil Cup, Golden Seal, Golden Stands, Goldy, Hop o’ My Thumb, Lady’s Slipper, Tall Buttercup.