This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Ranunculus Aconitifolius. Mountain Crowfoot, or Fair Maids of France.
Cal. 5-phyllus. Petala 5-intra ungues poro mellifero. Sem. nuda.
RANUNCULUS aconitifolius foliis omnibus quinatis lanceolatis inciso-serratis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 516. Ait. Kew. v. 1. p. 267.
RANUNCULUS folio aconiti, flore albo multiplici. Bauh. Pin. 179.
RANUNCULUS montanus albus flore pleno. The double white mountain Crowfoot. Park. Parad. p. 219. f. 9.
Double white Bachelors Buttons. Ger. Herb. p. 812. f. 1.
This is one of those plants which derives its beauty from the multiplication of its petals; in its single state no one would think it deserving of culture as an ornamental plant: when double, few plants come in for a greater share of admiration.
It is a native of the Alps of Europe, and flowers in May and June.
Was very generally cultivated in our gardens in the times of Gerard and Parkinson.
Like most alpine plants, it requires a pure air, and succeeds best in a situation moderately moist and shady; is a hardy perennial, and may be increased by parting its roots in autumn.
In all seasons, with us, its foliage, as well as that of most other Crowfoots, is liable to be disfigured, and sometimes nearly destroyed, by a very small maggot which feeds betwixt, the coats of the leaf, and which ultimately produces a small fly, called by us Musca Ranunculi.