Hot Spot: Ranunculus

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Red always demands attention and there’s nothing subtle about the way this ranunculus flaunts its frill of glowing petals. It makes me think of the over-the-top style of dress that a Hollywood star might wear for an awards ceremony.

Well, maybe that’s my imagination getting a bit carried away, but Ranunculus asiaticus (or ‘Persian buttercup’) certainly has a glamourous look. The flowers provide a stunningly beautiful and richly-coloured display. (And of course, they’re irresistible to this photographer!)

Like the primulas from my last post, these are currently in stock in garden centres. Here in the UK they’re often treated as bedding plants because they aren’t hardy and it’s difficult to save the tubers for re-planting a second year. Plants bought now can be put outside once there is no risk of frost and will give colour in spring and early summer. Or they can be grown from tubers planted in late spring, to then flower in autumn.

I haven’t yet bought any ranunculus this year (the photo is one from a couple of years ago) but I know that I’ll buy them again in the future. They’re too lovely to miss out on. And it would be fun to try to photograph the rest of the colours that they come in…a project for next spring perhaps?