Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, February 2009
Ranunculus parnassifolius - by Liam McCaughey
This small buttercup comes from central and southwestern Europe - the Pyrenees, Cantabrian mountains and Alps. It prefers damper sites, and so it is planted toward the bottom of our crevice garden. After looking decidedly unhappy during a hot dry spell soon after planting, it has now established itself, and the pictures here were taken in April 2011 after the coldest winter on record for Northern Ireland.
There is variability between plants from different locations, and this one can be seen to have just a hint of the pink flush in the petals which is a dominant feature of the 'Nuria' form
This plant was purchased from Aberconwy, but it can be grown quite easily from seed, though I see a note from Schachen Garden, where it seeds around in moist fine limestone scree,  that they do not collect seed for other gardens as it does not store well.
A photograph of a fine specimen of R. parnassifolius, raised from seed and shown by Bob Gordon at the 2011 Ulster Show can be seen HERE