Ranunculus asiaticus (Persian Buttercup) is a species of buttercup (Ranunculus) native to the eastern Mediterranean region in southwestern Asia, southeastern Europe (Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes), and northeastern Africa.
It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 45 cm tall, with simple or branched stems. The basal leaves are three-lobed, with leaves higher on the stems more deeply divided; like the stems, they are downy or hairy. The flowers are 3–5 cm diameter, variably red to pink, yellow, or white, with one to several flowers on each stem.
It is a protected plant in some jurisdictions, including Israel.
It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens, and widely used in floristry. Numerous cultivars have been selected, including 'Bloomingdale', 'Picotee', 'Pot Dwarf', and 'Superbissima'. The plants can tolerate light frost, but are not hardy at temperatures below -10°C.
Some strains such as 'Tecolote' and 'Bloomingdale' produce double flowers (not shown here).
Ranunculus (pron.: /ræˈnʌŋkjʊləs/) is a large genus of about 600 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae. Members of the genus include the buttercups, spearworts, water crowfoots and the lesser celandine.
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing (fusion of sperm and eggs from different individuals in a population) or allow selfing (fusion of sperm and egg from the same flower). Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization (parthenocarpy). Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Flowers give rise to fruit and seeds. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen.
In addition to facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans to beautify their environment, and also as objects of romance, ritual, religion, medicine and as a source of food.