Flowers: large; terminal; cup-shaped. Calyx: reflexed; of five sepals. Corolla: of five, six, or seven petals. Stamens: numerous. Pistils; several. Leaves: much divided; deeply toothed. Stem: herbaceous; erect from a round bulb and having an acrid, watery juice.
"Heigh-ho ! daisies and buttercups,
Fair yellow daffodils, stately and tall, When the wind wakes how they rock in the grasses,
And dance with the cuckoo-buds, slender and small; Here's two bonnie boys and here's mother's own lasses,
Eager to gather them all." - Jean Ingelow.
Along with the spring come the buttercups, and crop up everywhere to tell us that a sunny, gay time is in store for us all. The earth is awake and bright again, and the blossoms appear to dance and skip through the fields, stopping now and then to sip the dew and make merry with the bees and butterflies. None is more warmly welcomed or loved more dearly than the buttercups.
R. acris, tall or meadow buttercup, is common in the fields and meadows, especially in the northern states. It is erect, with a hairy or sometimes glabrous stem, and grows from two to three feet tall. As the preceding species, it is naturalised from Europe.
The exquisite grasses on the plate with the buttercups and daisies are called Poa pratensis, and we usually find them all growing closely together.