Buttercups (Ranunculus) are members a large genus of about 600 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae. Other members of the genus include spearworts, water crowfoots and the lesser celandine. All of these are mostly herbaceous perennials with bright yellow or white flowers (if white, still with a yellow centre); some are annuals or biennials. A few species have orange or red flowers. There are usually five petals, but sometimes six, numerous, or none, as in R. auricomus. The petals are often highly lustrous, especially in yellow species. Buttercups usually flower in the spring, but flowers may be found throughout the summer, especially where the plants are growing as opportunistic colonisers, as in the case of garden weeds.
- He likes the poor things of the world the best,
I would not, therefore, if I could be rich.
It pleases him to stoop for buttercups.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (1856), Book IV.
- Light gatherer. You fell from a star
into my lap, the soft lamp at the bedside
mirrored in you,
and now you shine like a snowgirl,
a buttercup under a chin, the wide blue yonder
you squeal at and fly in.
- Carol Ann Duffy, The Light Gatherer, from Feminine Gospels (2002).
"Dear robin," said this sad young flower,
"Perhaps you'd not mind trying
To find a nice white frill for me,
Some day when you are flying?"
"You silly thing!" the robin said;
"I think you must be crazy!
I'd rather be my honest self
Than any made-up daisy.
"You're nicer in your own bright gown,
The little children love you;
Be the best buttercup you can,
And think no flower above you.
"Though swallows leave me out of sight,
We'd better keep our places;
Perhaps the world would all go wrong
With one too many daisies.
"Look bravely up into the sky,
And be content with knowing
That God wished for a buttercup
Just here, where you are growing."
- Sarah Orne Jewett, "Discontent", in St. Nicholas Magazine, volume 3 (February 1876), p. 247.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 88.
- The royal kingcup bold
Dares not don his coat of gold.
- Edwin Arnold, Almond Blossoms.
- All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower.
- Robert Browning, Home Thoughts. From Abroad.
- The buttercups, bright-eyed and bold,
Held up their chalices of gold
To catch the sunshine and the dew.
- Julia C. R. Dorr, Centennial Poem, line 165.
- Fair is the kingcup that in meadow blows,
Fair is the daisy that beside her grows.
- John Gay, Shepherd's Week, Monday, line 43.
- Against her ankles as she trod
The lucky buttercups did nod.
- Jean Ingelow, Reflections.
- And O the buttercups! that field
O' the cloth of gold, where pennons swam ,
Where France set up his lilied shield,
And Henry's lion-standard rolled:
What was it to their matchless sheen,
Their million million drops of gold
Among the green!
- Jean Ingelow, The Letter L Present, Stanza 3.
- The buttercups across the field
Made sunshine rifts of splendor.
- Dinah Craik, A Silly Song.
- When buttercups are blossoming,
The poets sang, 'tis best to wed:
So all for love we paired in Spring ,
Blanche and I, ere youth had sped.
- Edmund Clarence Stedman, Bohemia (1879).