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Radiant Ranunculus

March 17, 2023

By Alex Henderson, Curator of Living Collections, Royal Botanical Gardens

If you have visited the Breezeway at RBG Centre recently you will have noticed the fabulous display of Ranunculus asiaticus putting on a welcome and colourful show. Also known as Persian buttercup, R. asiaticus has been selected by Canada Post as its flower stamp for 2023. Two designs are available (see below) with annual floral stamps being best sellers. They are often used for mailing wedding invitations and, as one might expect, are popular among Canadian gardeners.

two canada posts stamps featuring photos of pink and purple ranunculus flowers
Canada Post Ranunculus domestic rate stamps 2023

Reminiscent of peony and rose blooms R. asiaticus is a species of buttercup native to the eastern Mediterranean, southwestern Asia, southeastern Europe and northeastern Africa. Double flowered hybrids such as those in the Breezeway are popular ornamental choices for gardeners and numerous cultivars have been selected over the years. The Breezeway selections currently feature ‘Bloomingdale Mix’, and ‘Mache Mix’ with a later planting of ‘Magic Mix’ yet to come. The single flowered species is not commercially cultivated and is a protected species in some geographic locations such as Israel.

pink, orange, and yellow ranunculus in an indoor garden display
rainbow of ranunculus flowers

Persian buttercup is a tuberous rooted plant that blooms late in spring or early summer and the blooms come in a range of colours including red,  pink, orange, purple yellow and white with eye catching black anthers on stems about 30cm tall. Deadheading spent flowers encourages additional blooms but plants become dormant in summer. Well drained soil is essential as is planting in full sun in a sheltered location, Plant grow exceptionally well in containers with an equal mix of loam, leaf mould and grit and plants may be dived in spring. Suggested planting locations include gravel gardens, patios and contains, courtyard gardens and is a great addition to Mediterranean style plantings.

  • soft purple ranunculus flower
  • orange and yellow ranunculus flowers planed among white crocus
  • soft purple ranunculus flower
  • Pink and Orange ranunculus

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