Ireland

Meadow buttercup (Tall buttercup, Common buttercup, Giant buttercup)

Ranunculus acris

This species is variable in appearance across the world. It is a somewhat hairy plant that has ascending, ungrooved flowing stems bearing glossy yellow flowers about 25 mm across. There are five overlapping petals borne above five green sepals that soon turn yellow as the flower matures. It has numerous stamens inserted below the ovary. The leaves are compound, with three lobed leaflets. UnlikeRanunculus repens, the terminal leaflet is sessile. As with other members of the genus, the numerous seeds are borne as achenes. This and other buttercups contain ranunculin, which breaks down to the toxin protoanemonin, a chemical that can cause dermatitis andvomiting.

The rare autumn buttercup (R. aestivalis) is sometimes treated as a variety of this species.