Creeping buttercup

Creeping Buttercup

©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Creeping buttercup

Scientific name: Ranunculus repens
Creeping buttercup is our most familiar buttercup - the buttery-yellow flowers are like little drops of sunshine peppering garden lawns, parks, woods and fields.

Species information


Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status


When to see

May to August


Creeping buttercup is the common buttercup found in damp places on grassland, along woodland and field edges, and in parks and gardens. It flowers mainly between May and August, its long, rooting runners helping it to spread across lawns - much to the dissatisfaction of some gardeners! Yet, this golden-cupped flower is a childhood favourite: if a yellow reflection appears when it is held up to the chin, it is considered as a sign that the person likes butter.

How to identify

Creeping buttercup can be distinguished from the other buttercups by the spreading way it grows with runners. Its yellow flowers are about 2cm across and its hairy leaves are divided into three lobes with frayed edges.



Did you know?

Creeping buttercup is pollinated by short-tongued bees attracted by the nectar and pollen. They are able to reach the food with their tongue because the flower is open with a flat shape. Long-tongued bees can feed from long, deep flowers like Foxgloves.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of flowers like buttercups in your lawn, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.