Buttercup, Goldilocks

Information on Goldilocks Buttercup

Common Name: Goldilocks Buttercup
Scientific Name: Ranunculus auricomus
Irish Name: Gruaig Mhuire
Family Group: Ranunculaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Goldilocks Buttercup could sometimes be confused with:

Buttercup, Meadow, Buttercup, Creeping, Buttercup, Bulbous,

Goldilocks Buttercup is an unusual member of the Buttercup or Ranunculaceae family. It bears golden-yellow flowers (15-25mm across) but is a strange species in that quite often the flowers seem to be deformed with some or all of their petals missing and often the petals that remain can be imperfectly developed. It can have anything from no petals to 5 petals and these flowers are borne on erect, sparsely hairy stems to 40cm tall. The sepals are spreading and not reflexed, as is the case with Bulbous Buttercup. The lower leaves are long-stalked, circular to kidney-shaped, 3-5 lobed and the upper leaves are deeply divided into 3-6 narrow segments. The seeds are in a round, slightly downy achene. Not as well known as other Buttercups, the beautifully named Goldilocks Buttercup is found more in the northern part of Ireland as well as in the eastern half of the country. This is a species that likes damp woodland and hedgebanks. It is a fairly widespread native species that flowers from April to June.

I first saw Goldilocks Buttercup through the kindness of a friend in County Kildare and I photographed those plants in 2018.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Buttercup, Goldilocks
Buttercup, Goldilocks
Buttercup, Goldilocks