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Goldilocks Buttercup

Ranunculus auricomus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 centimetres tall
Fields, hedgerows, meadows, moorland, mountains, parks, roadsides, rocky places, scrub, waterside, woodland.

Yellow, 5 petals
Glossy leaves, up to 25mm across. Purple-tipped sepals. Many yellow stamens.
Clusters of very hairy achenes.
The long-stalked, alternate basal leaves are kidney-shaped and deeply lobed. Very short-stalked stem leaves. Perennial.
Other Names:
Golden Buttercup, Goldylocks, Greenland Buttercup.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Ranunculus auricomus, also known as golden buttercup or goldilocks, is a species of flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae. It is native to Europe and is commonly found in grassland, meadows, and pastures. R. auricomus is a herbaceous annual that grows to a height of up to 30 centimeters. It has long, narrow, green leaves and small, yellow or orange flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. The plant is valued for its ornamental value and is commonly grown in gardens and parks. It is also used as a food source and is an important habitat plant for a variety of wildlife species. R. auricomus is known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases. However, it can be toxic to livestock if ingested in large quantities.


The Goldilocks Buttercup, also known as Ranunculus auricomus, is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. This beautiful plant is native to Europe and Asia, and is well known for its bright yellow petals that resemble the classic buttercup flower.

The Goldilocks Buttercup is a perennial plant that grows to be about 10-15 cm tall. Its leaves are glossy green, and are divided into three distinct leaflets. In the spring, the plant produces a single stem that is topped with a bright yellow, cup-shaped flower. Each flower is about 2-3 cm in diameter and consists of several bright yellow petals that surround a bright yellow center.

The Goldilocks Buttercup is a hardy plant that is easy to grow in a variety of soils. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and partial to full sun. It is also fairly drought-tolerant, making it a great choice for gardeners who want a low-maintenance plant.

One of the great things about the Goldilocks Buttercup is that it is a great addition to any garden, whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out. It is a great plant for rock gardens, woodland gardens, or wildflower meadows. It also makes a great cut flower, as it has a long vase life and adds a bright pop of yellow to any bouquet.

If you are looking for a low-maintenance, easy-to-grow plant that will add a pop of yellow to your garden, then the Goldilocks Buttercup is a great choice.

The Goldilocks Buttercup is also a popular choice for wildlife gardens, as it attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The nectar-rich flowers provide a valuable food source for these insects, which are crucial for the pollination of other plants in your garden. By planting the Goldilocks Buttercup, you can help support local pollinator populations and promote a healthy ecosystem in your garden.

In addition to its value as a pollinator-friendly plant, the Goldilocks Buttercup also has medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including skin rashes, wounds, and digestive problems. It is important to note that the plant can be toxic if consumed in large quantities, so it should be used with caution and only under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

One interesting aspect of the Goldilocks Buttercup is its unique name. The name "Goldilocks" refers to the plant's bright yellow petals that resemble the classic buttercup flower, while "Buttercup" is a nod to the plant's bright yellow color. The name "Goldilocks Buttercup" is a nod to the folktale of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," where Goldilocks tries different bowls of porridge until she finds one that is "just right." In the same way, the Goldilocks Buttercup is "just right" in terms of its bright yellow color, easy-to-grow nature, and versatility in the garden.

It is also important to note that while the Goldilocks Buttercup is a great choice for gardeners, it can also become invasive in some areas. The plant has a tendency to spread rapidly and can outcompete other native plants, which can have a negative impact on local ecosystems. If you are considering planting the Goldilocks Buttercup in your garden, it is important to research the plant's natural range and to make sure that it is not considered an invasive species in your area.

In conclusion, the Goldilocks Buttercup is a beautiful and versatile plant that offers a variety of benefits for gardeners and local ecosystems. Whether you are looking to add a pop of yellow to your garden, support pollinator populations, or enjoy its medicinal properties, this plant is definitely worth considering. Just remember to research its natural range and to be mindful of its potential to become invasive in some areas.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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