Creeping Buttercup

Ranunculus repens

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  3. Creeping Buttercup


Creeping Buttercup is the common buttercup found in grassland, damp places, along woodland and field edges, and in parks and gardens. It flowers mainly between May and August and long, rooting runners help it to spread across lawns, much to the dissatisfaction of some gardeners. Yet this golden-cupped flower is a childhood favourite: if a yellow reflection appears when held up to the chin, it is considered as a sign that the person likes butter.

How to identify

Creeping Buttercup can be distinguished from the other buttercups by the spreading way it grows with runners. Its yellow flowers are about 2cm across and hairy leaves are divided into three lobes with frayed edges.

Where to find it

Found throughout the country.


When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Our gardens are a vital resource for local wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. Try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of flowers like buttercups in your lawn and nettles near the compost heap, and see who comes to visit... To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Creeping Buttercup
Latin name
Ranunculus repens
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status