Creeping Buttercup: A Comprehensive Guide

CREEPING BUTTERCUP (Ranunculus repens) Highbury Wildlife
CREEPING BUTTERCUP (Ranunculus repens) Highbury Wildlife from


Creeping Buttercup is a perennial plant that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It is also known as Ranunculus repens and is native to Europe, but it is now widespread in other regions, including North America and Asia. This plant is notorious for its invasive nature and can quickly spread in lawns and gardens, causing problems for homeowners.


Creeping Buttercup is a low-growing plant that can reach a height of up to 50cm. It has long, creeping stems that can root at the nodes, allowing it to spread rapidly. The leaves are bright green and have a glossy texture, with three lobes and a toothed edge. The flowers are yellow and have five petals that are approximately 15 mm in diameter.

Habitat and Distribution

Creeping Buttercup thrives in wet, poorly drained soils and can be found in meadows, pastures, and along watercourses. It is a common weed in lawns and gardens, where it can quickly take over and outcompete other plants. This plant is widespread in Europe, North America, and Asia, and has been introduced to other regions as well.


Creeping Buttercup reproduces primarily through vegetative means, as it can spread through its creeping stems and rooting nodes. However, it also produces seeds, which can be dispersed by wind, water, or animals. The seeds can remain viable in the soil for several years, making it difficult to eradicate this plant once it has established itself.

Impact on the Environment

Creeping Buttercup is considered an invasive species in many regions, as it can outcompete other plants and disrupt ecosystems. It can also reduce the quality and quantity of forage for livestock, as it is unpalatable and can cause digestive problems. Additionally, it can reduce the aesthetic value of lawns and gardens, making it a nuisance for homeowners.

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Control Methods

There are several methods for controlling Creeping Buttercup, including cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods. Cultural methods involve improving soil drainage and fertility, as well as mowing and removing plant debris. Mechanical methods involve hand-pulling or digging out the plant, but care must be taken to remove all of the roots and stems. Chemical methods involve using herbicides that are specific to Creeping Buttercup, but these can also harm other plants and wildlife.


Despite its invasive nature, Creeping Buttercup has some uses in traditional medicine. It has been used to treat skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as digestive problems, such as constipation and diarrhea. However, these uses are not well supported by scientific evidence, and the plant should be used with caution.


Creeping Buttercup is a common weed that can cause problems for homeowners and disrupt ecosystems. However, there are several methods for controlling this plant, and it also has some uses in traditional medicine. By understanding the biology and ecology of Creeping Buttercup, we can better manage its impact on the environment and our daily lives.

Read Also: Best Low Maintenance Flowering Shrubs In 2023

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