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.