Friday, October 1, 2010

Cut-leaf Buttercup

Ranunculus meristus

The roadsides between Dalby and Jandowie are glorious after the recent rains. The cracking black soil is covered with sheets of bluebells, yellow buttons, and white daisies, as well as a number of other little flowering herbs.

The table drains, especially towards the Jandowie end of the road, are a blaze of yellow buttercups among the nardoo.

Most buttercups are water-loving plants, but there are some, among Australia’s 30 or so species of native buttercups, which cope very well with drought.

Ranunculus meristus is one of them.

The roots of these tough plants survive below the soil’s surface in dry seasons, a habit which also keeps them safe from frost. Each year when the wet comes around again, they pop up as good as new.

So go on. Pack up a picnic and the Aerogard, and head out to see what must be one of the best spring wildflower displays in the country. Take your gumboots too, as you’ll probably want to have a close look at some things in slushy places. (And do be careful not to park your car on any blacksoil. “Bogged up to the axles” is an embarrassing condition which any Darling Downs resident understands well.)
(NOTE: A rather similar-looking plant to this is the river buttercup, Ranunculus inundatus, which we see growing in our red soils along the range. It has similar, but brighter green, leaves, and its flowers are fewer, smaller and much less showy. It is intolerant of drying out.)
For a description of yet another native buttercup, See Sep 2009


Joan Kirton said...

Hi Pat
I wonder if you could help identify a native bush I have in my garden. I brought it down from Durah Creek in the Jandowae/Chinchilla area many years ago and would like to use it as part of the regeneration along my section of Bald Hills Creek....once I get the fences up of course. I have some pics of the flower on my latest post about my dyeing attempts with native plants. It's the one with the white flower. Thanks

Patricia Gardner said...

Hi Joan.
As far as I cam make out from the photo, it looks like a Geraldton Wax - Chamelauceum species - which would be a very surprising thing to find growing wild on a Queensland grazing lease, unless it was a garden escapee. Perhaps you could Google up some Geraldton Wax pictures for comparison with your plant.
Other readers might like to look a Joan's blogsite. It's a delight! Find it at

Joan Kirton said...

Thanks Trish,
I think it is the Geraldton Wax. I also looked at the Gardenweb forum and found a discussion about the plant becoming "leggy"(a problem mine has), and ways to manage this. One forum member mentioned that cuttings were easy to I may be able to plant along the creek and have beautiful cascades of flowers each year. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction...also thanks for the kind words about my garden studio's a little corner where I tend to potter and hopefully one day have lovely natives and a corridor for Koalas.