Ranunculus flowers are a rather large genus consisting of roughly 400 species in the family of ranunculaceae. These blossoms, which are sometimes known as Persian buttercups, are made up mostly of herbaceous perennials – though there are a few biennial and annual species – that tend to bloom around April or May. The heads of ranunculus flowers are considered an exceptional sight to see. Although petals may be rather inconspicuous on some species, most flowers burst with lustrous petals that take on a thin, crepe-like appearance. Although these blossoms sometimes come in bright white hues, the rest of their shades are more vivid – coming in colors of bright orange, yellow and red, as well as brilliant pink and gold.
Ranunculus flowers are known by several names, and with each one comes an interesting story of their origin. Ranunculus is a Late Latin word for little frog, which most people feel came about because of the flower’s growth habits – many species preferring to blossom in exceptionally moist atmospheres. However, one Asian myth describes a well loved prince with a lovely voice who enjoyed taking long walks in the open country, and singing to the nymphs that roamed around these regions. He fell madly in love with one such nymph, but was unable to express these feelings, and thus – withered by disappointment – he died. Upon his death, his body began to transform into the shape of small, delicately-petaled flowers which were then given his name. Some Native American families called this flower Coyote’s Eyes. This name came about from the legend of a coyote who, to amuse himself, popped the eyes from his head and began tossing them to the heavens, so that he may catch them when they returned. Unfortunately, the coyote threw his eyes up into the air and a buzzard caught hold. Confused and unable to see, the coyote decided to create new eyes from the heads of ranunculus flowers.
Because of their uncanny and dazzling appearance, ranunculus flowers are frequently given as gifts. On many occasions they are given solely for their good looks; however, these flowers are thought to express how taken the giver is by the recipient’s charms. They also represent simple radiance and attraction. Because of these symbols, this blossom has become one of the many flowers to be given on romantic holidays and occasions, and are slowly becoming a favorite of spring brides.