Ranunculus flowers look almost too perfect to be real. The blossoms display layer upon layer of silky petals in bright, paint box colors. Though not often seen in home gardens, the exquisite, rose-like flowers of ranunculus are a staple in high-end flower shops and wedding bouquets.
The name Ranunculus is Late Latin for "little frog", the diminutive of rana. This probably refers to many species being found near water, like frogs. The name buttercup may derive from a false belief that the plants give butter its characteristic yellow hue (in fact it is poisonous to cows and other livestock).