Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Ranunculus lappaceus

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - October

Common name common buttercup
Scientific name Ranunculus lappaceus Sm.
Family  Ranunculaceae

Genus: From Latin, ranunculus, small frog, tadpole. Referring to its preference for moist sites.

Species: From Latin, lappa, burr.

Distribution From Queensland, though New South Wales and Victoria and into South Australia, as well as Tasmania.
Native habitat Usually found in heavy soils that are moist for extended periods.

Perennial herb to 50 cm high.

Flowering/fruiting Flowers in spring and summer.

Location in Garden

Bed 29 in the Connections Garden and in the Woodland Picnic Area.


There are over 500 species of buttercup throughout the world. About 40 species are native to Australia where they occur over a range of habitats, but are most commonly distributed in the eastern and south-eastern regions where the soils are inundated for short periods for most of the year. They extend from the coast to the ranges and a limited number even occur in semi-arid regions.

Ranunculus lappaceus occurs naturally at Mount Annan in our remnant patches of Cumberland Plain Woodland. It performs well in cultivation and is a suitable choice for sunny or semi-shaded sites. It can be grown as a bedding plant in formal or informal drifts as well as in rockeries or containers.

To celebrate Mount Annan’s 21st birthday, we have installed a giant sculpture of a buttercup on Lakeside - the perfect place for a spring picnic.



Buttercup sculpture

Ranunculus lappaceus

Ranunculus lappaceus