Scientific Name: Ranunculus sardous.
English Name: Hairy Buttercup; Sardinian Buttercup.
French Name: Renoncule de Sardaigne (= 'Sardinian Ranunculus'); Renoncule des mares (='pond Ranunculus').
5 Key Characters:
- hairy leaves and stems.
- leaves divided into 3 leaflets.
- flowers bright yellow with (usually) 5 petals and 5 reflexed (downturned) sepals.
- seedhead is a bobbly sphere.
- 10-50cm tall.
Lookalikes: Other grassland buttercups, the most common of which are bigger plants altogether.
Habitat: Damp pasture, trampled pond edges, wet hollows, roadsides, farm tracks, gateways. Places where the soil is neutral and the ground is damp and disturbed and the grass sparse.
Flowering Period: May-June-July-August.
Status: Uncommon. Supposedly the origin of the word 'sardonic', a reference to the 'bitter grin' one makes after having eaten it but just before dying (like all Ranunculus spp it is toxic).
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: