Buttercups (Ranunculus bulbosus) grow wild throughout Maine and can be found in sunny areas in fields or pastures or along roadsides. These cheery flowers produce a mass of sunny yellow blooms on thin, branched stalks that reach a height of one to two feet. Blooms range in size from .5 to 1.2 inches, depending on the health of the plant and its location.
Blooms appear in early summer, typically at the same time as the ox-eye daisy, setting fields and roadsides aglow with color. Bees and butterflies frequent buttercups creating graceful movement and color in wildflower gardens.
Buttercups thrive in evenly-moist soil, but tolerate dry, sandy soil as well. These hardy wildflowers are a carefree addition to wildflower gardens. According to the USDA Plant Database, buttercups grow throughout the Eastern Coast of the United States.
Buttercups do not hold up well as cut flowers, as the petals drop quickly. Reserve these beautiful Maine wildflowers for the center of flowerbeds, as borders or along fences for a showy display of brilliant yellow in early summer.
Buttercups are a favorite with children as a tool to determine if their friends like butter. You can find this endearing little rhyme here.
Beware! According to the ASPCA, buttercups are toxic to cats, dogs and horses. They may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. They may cause a wobbly gait, hyper-salivation and anorexia.