Ranunculus flowers are known for their brilliant colors and layers of paper-thin petals. They belong to the botanical family of the same name, which encompasses more then five hundred species.
Some varieties of the ranunculus flower can have more than one hundred petals on each flower, while other cultivars have only a few petals. These petals are often tightly packed in a spiral pattern, giving the blossom a look reminiscent of a peony or an old-fashioned rose. Because of this resemblance, ranunculus are sometimes called the rose of spring.
Ranunculus are available in a vast array of warm colors such as yellow, pink, red and peach. A symbol of affection, these gentle colors make a lovely addition to a birthday or celebratory bouquet for a friend or loved one. The white and pastel colors are also popular in bridal arrangements.
In the Victorian language of flowers, ranunculus symbolized attraction. They also told the recipient that the giver found them quite charming.
Flowers in the ranunculus family are known for their glossy petals. They are so smooth as to be almost reflective. This is especially true of buttercups, another well-known member of the same family.
The Right Flowers in Your Inbox!
Sign up for our free notifications of new articles!
Members of the ranunculus family originated in southern Asia and the Mediterranean before being brought to Europe and the Americas. There is a Persian legend that states that the ranunculus was created when a nymph turned her suitor into a flower when she grew weary of his pursuit.
An old Native American story tells us that a coyote used the brilliant blossoms as replacement eyes when his own eyes were stolen by an eagle. In North America there is also a long history of using ranunculus petals to soothe aching muscles and joints when applied topically.
Ranunculus are propagated by corms, or bulbs, that bloom between January and May in warmer climates. They need to be protected from extremely cold weather but are worth the extra effort when you see their vibrant blooms. They may be planted as an annual in cooler growing zones.
Ranunculus flowers are long-lasting once cut. They can often last one week in floral arrangements. When cutting flowers from the garden, choose buds that have not yet fully opened. This will ensure a longer life in the vase.
Tell your loved one that you find them as charming as these beautiful blossoms. Thanks to their soft hues, sentimental symbolism, and long life, ranunculus flowers make an ideal gift for someone special.