Western Isles Wildflowers
Western Isles wildflowers is a collection of information about our Hebridean wildflowers including identification hints, traditional herbal uses and general plant lore.
Common Meadow Buttercup
Gaelic name: Buidheag an t-Samhraidh
Likes dunes machair and damp grassland.
The landscape of the Lewis lower grassland becomes yellow with buttercups in high summer.
Stems 1 - 3 feet tall.
Does not root along the stem like strawberry runners (that one is probably creeping buttercup)
Common Meadow Buttercup is a member of the Ranunculae - the buttercup family .
Ranunculus is Latin for "little frog", members of this plant family also like wet habitats and are well represented here in the Western Isles!
It was said that because the plant is so acrid cattle will not eat it readily in its green state, and if forced to do so through hunger it would cause blisters and inflammation to the mouth. Once cut into hay it loses its acridity.
It seems that it was never used internally for medicinal purposes but made into an ointment to eradicate warts, gout and violent headaches, although if applied to the skin it will cause blisters and inflammation. So perhaps if weeding from the garden gloves should be worn.
All parts are poisonous. Heating or drying destroys toxins, but like the common buttercup it should be avoided.
In Glencoe daisies and buttercups were made into an ointment used to treat bruises and sores.
Herbal notes by Ela Springwater
Stornoway Castle Grounds - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
5th June, 2006