If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

05 May, 2016

Bulbous Buttercup: the point of it all



I am sure many of us see buttercups and think "that's a buttercup"! Well, it gets more difficult if you ask "but which species of buttercup?" There are several, eight in fact, that look like traditional buttercups! It's not quite that bad as some are very rare now having been affected by intensive spraying of our fields.
 
The corn buttercup, once common, is now all but extinct. Other species are quite distinctive in their own way so it really leaves meadow, creeping and bulbous as the most likely choice if it's a standard buttercup you are looking at. The first thing to do is to gently bend the flower head over and look at the sepals, if they point downwards, as in this photograph, then it is a bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus).
 
The bulbous buttercup is very common on dry grassland, especially on chalk, and so is very common in Dorset.
 
So, now you know how to tell if it is a bulbous buttercup all you have to do is sort out the difference between meadow buttercup and creeping buttercup!
Bulbous Buttercup: the point of it all