Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ranunculus asiaticus L.

Half-hardy, tuberous-rooted perennial buttercups with basal leaves and branching flower stems bearing 1-4 cup-shaped, red, pink, yellow or white flowers with purple-black centres in spring and summer.  To 45cm.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

By the end of the 18th century the Florists’ ranunculus was a highly esteemed flower, being accepted as one of the original eight florists’ flowers.  Thousands of named varieties were in cultivation by the 1830s in an amazing array of colours, usually very double, self-coloured or streaked, spotted and splashed with an alternate colour.  A number are figured in the Floricultural Cabinet.  Introduced to Britain in 1596.  [JD]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.404/1843].  Ranunculus asiaticus was received per ‘Sovereign’, February 1831.  [MP A2948]. 


Florist’s ranunculus: ‘The flower ought to be two inches in diameter; the lower tier of petals broad, and gradually diminishing in size as they approach the centre, which should be well filled up with them.  The bloom ought to be of a hemispherical form; the petals not widely separated, nor too close to appear crowded, and to have a pyramidal direction, in order to display their colours; petals broad with perfect edges; colours rich, clear, and brilliant, or if of two colours, clear and distinct.’  [FC p.132/1855]. 

Published Jan 26, 2009 - 03:04 PM | Last updated Mar 05, 2010 - 09:31 AM

Depicted are four flowers in shades of red, yellow, purple and white, all strongly marked.  Floricultural Cabinet p.132, 1855.

Ranunculus asiaticus L. | FC p.132/1855 | RBGS

Family Ranunculaceae
Region of origin

Mediterranean, North Africa, Asia

Common Name

Persian buttercup, Turban buttercup, Florists? ranunculus

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ranunculus Asiaticus 

Confidence level high