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Goldilocks: but no porridge

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Goldilocks: but no porridge

The goldilocks buttercup (Ranunculus auricomus) is very much a plant of broad-leaf woodland in spring, flowering in April and May. Indeed, apart the creeping buttercup, it is our only woodland buttercup species and is quite distinctive with flowers that never quite seem perfect! It readily drops its petals and so finding one with all five petals on a flower head is quite unusual. It is much taller than creeping buttercup and the leaves are narrow and pointed whereas creeping buttercup leaves are much broader. All in all, if you find a buttercup in woodland then if it is not the creeping buttercup then it almost certainly is goldilocks.

It is not a common flower in Dorset. It has a distinct preference for woodlands on chalk and much of the Dorset chalk is taken up by arable farmland and bits of precious grassland meaning that there is limited scope for it here.

I can find no reference to the flower being linked to the 'Goldilocks and the three bears' story. I am pretty sure it gets its name from its wonderful golden yellow colouring. It is also known as the woodland buttercup and woodland goldilocks.


 

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 1 month ago

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