Monday 10 December 2012


Ranunculus calandrinioides
Ranunculus calandrinoides

Ranunculus is an amazingly varied genus and I have a bit of a thing for them. This is one of the species found in the Western Mediterranean region with glaucous elliptical leaves (almost like a small Hosta) and gorgeous white flowers, slightly pink tinted. This species (from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco) is winter green and winter flowering and although cold-hardy, is not generally recommended for outdoors. Word has it though that it will grow in dry shade, perhaps peeking out from under a myrtle or bay into the low winter sunlight. Perfectly easy in a pot in an unheated greenhouse, kept dry in summer but well watered and fed when in growth. Very few.
1L pots ~ £8

Ranunculus cortusifolius
Ranunculus cortusifolius

The Madeira buttercup – a splendid species- bigger and bolder in all its parts than normal buttercups, and flowering for months from late winter to early summer. Not generally regarded as terribly hardy, I’ve not tried it outdoors here yet. One thing is for sure, it starts into growth very early (in autumn in fact) and those big lush leaves do look vulnerable. If you want to grow it outdoors, my feeling would be to try it in a moist, shaded, sheltered spot, but failing that, keep it for the cool greenhouse. Gardeners in Cornwall or Brittany should give it a go.

Update ~ these plants have passed the winter evergreen and unscathed in the tunnel with just a fleece over them, so evidently they're hardier than we've been lead to believe. I'm going to plant one out in the open next. Watch this space...
1L pots ~ £7

Ranunculus platanifolius
Ranunculus platanifolius

A very easy and adaptable, and frankly just very lovely white flowering buttercup. Fresh and easy, and did I say lovely? Suitable for any retentive soil in sun or semi shade. Not even slightly invasive.
1L pots ~ £6


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