25 May 2012

Buttercup blog part 2

Following on from my last post, I thought I would just add a couple more buttercup pictures I took at Martin's Meadows today.
The summer weather that has arrived this week has really moved the flowering season on a pace and the meadow buttercups seem to have reached their peak in a matter of days.

As we walked around the edge of the meadows, Ellie caught a buttercup in her collar - an excellent  photo opportunity and from the slight yellow glow beneath her chin I would say she definitely likes butter!

18 May 2012

Buttercup blog

We are in the midst of 'buttercup month' at the moment.

On the  drier grasslands (e.g Hutchison's meadow and many churchyards and road verges), bulbous buttercup - Ranunculus bulbosus has been in bloom for a week or two, adding some welcome yellow 'sunlight' to the rather rain swept days of April and early May. A frequent companion of one of the earliest flowering meadow grasses -  sweet vernal grass - Anthoxanthum odoratum, bulbous buttercup is easily distinguished from other buttercups, by it softly lobed leaves and its down-turned or reflexed sepals.

Often at least a fortnight of so later, meadow buttercup - Ranunculus acris begins to flower - carrying its much taller flowering heads up into the hay. It also has a much more cut or dissected leaf.

 Meadow buttercup is the buttercup that creates the beautiful haze of yellow seen in hay meadows - often flowering at the same time as common sorrel - Rumex acetosa - the yellow buttercup contrasting dramatically with the red sorrel.

For me, 'buttercup month' also means returning to the office after a meadow visit  with my shoes or boots covered with yellow dust from the petals and pollen!