Who Likes Butter?

If you hold a buttercup flower under your chin and your chin glows yellow, it is a sure sign that you are fond of butter, apparently. Actually it is because the petals have two flat epidermal layers of very reflective cells, separated by an air gap, which makes them doubly glossy and reflective. They also reflect a huge amount of UV light to attract pollinating insects.Photo of buttercup flowers

The creeping buttercup, Ranunculus repens, and taller meadow buttercup,Β Ranunculus acris are yet more of my lawn “weeds” (perhaps I should call it a small meadow rather than lawn). They are good for bees and hoverflies, but toxic to people and domestic animals.Photo of buttercup flowers

I shall leave you with an excerpt from Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Could I but Ride Indefinite“:

Could I but ride indefinite
As doth the Meadow Bee
And visit only where I liked
And No one visit me

And flirt all Day with Buttercups
And marry whom I may
And dwell a little everywhere
Or better, run awayPhoto of buttercup flower

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14 thoughts on “Who Likes Butter?

  1. I love buttercups and you did well to photograph them and not get over-exposed petals in your images. We used to love holding them under our chins to see the reflection as children.

    • Thank you. I think it helped that it was a rather dull day. I always get over-exposed images with white flowers. It was one of those simple joys of summer as a child πŸ™‚

  2. I have plenty of them in the garden but didn’t know they are toxic. I have been pulling some of them with my bare hands. No wonder no critters eat them. They are beautiful though and you captured their beauty perfectly.

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