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Name: Pronounced ran-UN-kew-lus. The Latin name ranunculus means "little frog".
Origin: The Middle East, hence their alternative name "Turban Buttercup". They have tuberous roots and hollow stems.
Colour: A wonderful array of colours, yellow, white, red, pink, orange, and and copper, either peony flowered or open flowered, with dark or yellow centres.
Availability: Winter and spring.
Family: Ranunculus belong to the Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and is the cultured cousin of the Marsh Marigold.
Care Tips: Remove all foliage, recut stems and change water regularly. The stems are inclined to buckle. If you don't want them curvy, insert a flower wire to keep them upright.
Mythology: In fairy tales frogs are apt to change into princes and it was an Asian prince in just such a story who gave his name to this flower, which grows naturally in swampy ground. The prince was so good-looking that he was loved by everyone. He also had a beautiful voice but this was his undoing. He loved the open country and sang delightful songs in the presence of nymphs. He did not have the courage to declare his love to them and this haunted him so much that he died. After his death he was changed into the flower with delicate tissuey petals which bears his name.
Language of Flowers: Meant "you are rich in attractions" to the Victorians.