Ranunculus asiaticus are Persian Buttercups
|10 for $4.77 at Tulip World dot com|
Those wonderful cool weather flowering bulbs Ranunculus are in the plant family Ranunculaceaea. The other 600 members of the family include Lesser Celandine and Buttercups.
Ranunculus asiaticus is a tuberous-rooted plant native to South-eastern Europe and Asia Minor, Turkey and North Africa, where they are known as Persian Buttercups.
I remember my mother planting them and I planted them years ago. You just don't see them very often any more. If you are interested in having something unique in your spring/summer flower bed, take a chance on a small order and see how they do in your climate. The flowers are like tiny peonies with paper thin petals and they can be cut and kept in a vase. The variety La Belle is grown specifically for the cut flower market. Summer Hill Seeds sells Ranunculus La Bell - 20 seeds $6.
|Plant Ranunculus with toes DOWN|
4-6 inches apart
Like most bulbs, Ranuculus bulbs are planted in full sun with well-drained soil.
In USDA zones 8 to 11, Ranunculus are planted in the fall and bloom in the spring. The roots will survive soil temperatures of 10F. If you have a surprisingly cold season, mulch will protect them.
For our zone 7, plant Ranunculus bulbs in early spring, just before the last frost and they will bloom in June after all your spring blooming bulbs have faded. They are also good candidates for planting in containers.
Ranunculus need at least 4-6 weeks of cool (evening 40-50° & daytime 60-75°) weather to sprout. If it is too warm, they will stay dormant. If it is too cold they can freeze. Plan on them taking 6-8 weeks to sprout. www.hollandbulbfarms.com
Touch of Nature http://www.touchofnature.com/fallcatalog/ranunculus.htm offers 25 "topsize" bulbs for $21 and 50 bulbs for $37.
Ranuculus Tecolote jumbo bulbs are 2 for $10 at http://www.littlebitofnature.com/Ranunculus_bulbs.html
Don't confuse the wonderful spring/summer Ranunculus with their weedy cousins! Ranunculus bulbosus is a perennial Buttercup known as St. Anthony's turnip. Ranuculus repens is the weed, creeping buttercup.