The Buttercup

There are about thirty six species of the Buttercup but the common type in the parish is the Meadow Buttercup. It is a perennial wildflower which means it lives for at least two years. This very noticeable bright yellow flower thrives on damp land and is in full bloom from April to October. It is often a source of annoyance to people who find that it loves to display its bright yellow magic on their lawns! The National Folklore Collection in UCD quotes a Kerry tradition which says that the root of the buttercup is a cure for toothache. A Lisselton tradition among children in the past was to place a Buttercup under the chin, and if the flower reflected a yellow tint onto the chin, it was a sign that the person liked butter! Its name may have come from its similarity to a little cup the colour of butter, or from the fact that it contains nectar. It is a popular host for bees and insects. The Buttercup was one of the wildflowers picked by children on May Eve to decorate the little May Altar in the kitchen because of its bright colour and because it was a sign of summer. It is, however, considered a bad-tasting flower by animals, ensuring its survival. Some traditions considered it poisonous.

The flower has five yellow petals and at the base of these are five green sepals which support the petals.
The Irish term for the Buttercup is Fearbán Féir.

(Catherine…put the weed article after this)

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