BUTTERCUPS : Ranunculus
This yellow flower is so much like the Iceland Poppy, that it could be confused with it, but it is slightly smaller and less delicate. The poppy has a very distinctive central stigma on a stile surrounded by anthers on filaments while the buttercup has more of a cluster. To confuse this more, there are 3 varieties.
Botany in Scotland tell use to look at the flowers. They all have 5 yellow petals. Below these petals, there are 5 greenish yellow sepals. In R. bulbosus the sepals are folded down (‘strongly reflexed’), while in R. acris and R. repens they are lightly pressed against the petals (‘erect’). Also, the flower stalks are furrowed in R. bulbosus and R. repens, and are not furrowed in R. acris.
So if the sepals are reflexed, you have found Ranunculus bulbosus. If the sepals are erect, go to step 2.
If the sepals are erect, then look at the leaves from near the bottom of the plant to tell the difference between R. repens and R. acris. These leaves are made of several leaflets. In R. repens the end leaflet has a stalk, while in R. acris it does not have a stalk.
See the link below.
Buttercups in profusion through May and June. This scene is opposite the barrage on the Leven.
BELOW : For comparison with a poppy of the same colour.