Sunday, March 8, 2009


Cebah went out to pick some buttercups ahead of the rain.


Cathy said...

Oh she looks so beautiful!!

William said...

I thought those were daffodils, and buttercups were a much smaller flower. (?)

It's funny, I saw that photo of Cebah last night and this morning I opened a drawer at work and found the card for our joint show a few years back with our two daffodils images.

Mary Beth said...

Pssst... William is right.They are daffodils or, if you please jonquils.

There are several flowers that are regoinally called "Buttercups" but they are all genus Ranunculus. Out here in Northern California they are a branching plant with small flowers consisting of 5 bright yellow petals. As they'll grow anywhere from fence rows to pasture to the middle of the lawn, most folks think of them as nothing more than weeds. Pity!

"So build me up (build me up) Buttercup, don't break my heart"

Dan Dutton said...

Buttercups was our old family name for daffodils, or more botanically speaking, Narcissus. A lot of farm families around here call them "Easter Lilies" ~ but of course they are not lilies at all, taxonomically.

When I was a child, all taken with Darwin & all things scientific, I insisted that we stop calling them buttercups & call them daffodils"- being a mr. know-it-all. Yesterday when I posted this, I wrote Daffodils in the field, then had a moment when I thought about my mom & how that isn't HER name for them. She humored me for years with the daffodil thing, but in age she returned to her childhood name for them. & really, the idea behind buttercup is a flower yellow as butter - one that if you hold it under your chin will reflect a yellow glow that shows you like butter!

When I started studying the Cherokee language I was shocked to find that they had a taxonomy for plants and animals based on an entirely different logic than the evolutionary one devised by Linneaus.

We have the Ranunculus here too, & they can be a problem plant in cow pastures - because they are toxic to cattle. That would make them rather ironic buttercups. But then (is there no end?) - their common name is "Marsh Marigold" - even tho they are not marigolds (Tagetes)!

Years ago an old country herb doctor took me out in the woods, kindof a trial training session I suppose.
As we walked along he asked me if I knew what a certain plant was. I did, and I gave one of its common names, to which he replied "But it has another name - do you know that?" So I gave another common name & he said the same thing again. That time I replied with the Latin name
~ (I hadn't intended to go THERE - as I was pretty sure he did not read.) ~ but, obviously unimpressed, he returned to the same question, and continued until I ran out of names. Then he asked one more time, with a twinkle in his eye.
And that was when I realized he was talking about the name that the plant has for itself.

He took me to a remote spot where there was a patch of yellow lady slippers (an orchid) and, to my shock and horror, dug one up and presented it to me, with careful instructions as to how and where it should be replanted. The root is called "salep" in Arabic, & has been used as a medicine since antiquity. It's still growing, some 30 years later.
I'm sure the site where he took me was utterly destroyed by logging not long after we were there.

SBD said...

They will always be buttercups to one can change my mind~I still love Piney Roses instead of feels like home to me.