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Products > Ranunculus cortusifolius
Ranunculus cortusifolius - Canary Buttercup

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Origin: Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [R. cortusaefolius]
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Ranunculus cortusifolius (Canary Buttercup) A strong perennial with foliage to 2 feet tall by as wide with attractive large (8 to 12 inches broad!) palmately lobed bright green leaves with scalloped margins. In early to mid-spring appear the branching inflorescences to 3 to 4 feet tall with many 1 1/2 to 2 inch wide bright yellow flowers with 5 shiny petals and a green center. Plant in part sun to light shade and water occasionally, particularly in a dry spring and then allow to go summer dry and dormant. It is cold hardy to around 25 °F. A great plant for lighting up a shady area and with its large display does not need to be kept in the foreground to be noticed. This plant is common in the laurel forest areas of several of the islands in the Canary Island chain where it typically grows in moist areas that dry in the summer, when this plant goes dormant, dying back to succulent rhizomes with new leaves emerging with the winter rains. It is also found on the island of Madeira and in the Azores. The name for the genus is from Latin 'rana' for frog with an diminutive ending meaning "little frog" likely referring to the many species being found near water. The specific epithet given this plant in 1809 by Carl Ludwig von Willdenow references Cortusa, a genus in the Primulaceae, and Latin word 'folium' meaning "leaf" in reference to the leaves resembling those of Cortusa, which was named after J.A. Cortusus, a professor of botany at Padua Italy in the 16th century. The image on this webpage from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol. 78 (1852). The common names Giant Buttercup and Azores Buttercup are also used for this plant. Our thanks to John Bleck who gave us the seed from the planting he established in his Goleta, California garden - John's original source was seed from a plant growing in the garden of bay area horticulturist and arborist Ted Kipping.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Ranunculus cortusifolius.