Ranunculaceae in the Garden

Welcome to this small courtyard garden planted with a variety of hardy herbaceous plants.

Many plants belonging to the Ranunculaceae family can be seen in this display garden although not all of them are in flower at this time of year. Some such as the hellebores and winter aconites provided interest through late winter and spring and many of our favourite summer flowers such as delphiniums, aconites and thalictrums are yet to come.

Gardeners aim to plan for a succession of interest particularly where space is limited, and plants which can provide many weeks of colour or interest before and after their main flowering time are of great value. Ranunculaceae can do both. Many of the flowers have coloured sepals instead of petals, which means that the flowers last longer and the thicker sepals are more weather-resistant. In addition many of the plants in this family have strongly coloured foliage as it emerges in spring such as the startling scarlet of the peonies and deep purple of thalictrums adding interest of spring flowers, often contrasting well with blues and yellows. Later in the year the ‘fluffy’ seed heads of clematis and bright berries of actaea are still contributing to the picture.

HPS members enjoy growing plants from seed obtained through the Seed Exchange - see the Display Boards to find out more.

Treat these plants with caution though as Ranunculaceae contain a toxin; contact with the sap may cause itching, rashes or blistering of the skin or mouth. Some such as aconites contain more potent poisons which are dangerous if ingested by humans or animals.

To find out more about the plants used in the display please ask one of our members or visit www.hardy-plant.org.uk