Common buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
The buttercup (Ranunculus acris) is a plant species of the genus (Ranunculus) buttercup within the family of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)
The buttercup grows as a persistent, herbaceous plant and has a rhizome for endurance. It reaches growth heights of 30 to 110 cm. Its stem is richly branched.
The leaves are three to five parts with deeply divided sections. The flowers attract their pollinators with bright yellow crown-leaf-like nectar leaves. They are surrounded by five hairy sepals that protrude horizontally from the open flower.
The buttercup plant is widespread on the entire northern hemisphere in all altitudes. It prefers meadows with moist, nitrogenous clay soils.
Like many buttercup plants, the buttercup contains toxins such as ranunculin and protoanemonine, which are toxic to humans and animals.
If enough other green fodder is available, grazing animals avoid these plants because of their burning taste.
In humans, contact with the freshly cut herb can cause so-called meadow dermatitis, a local irritant effect of the plant sap.
During drying, these substances are converted into the non-toxic anemonin, so that the hay is completely unproblematic. In silage, on the other hand, the toxins are retained for two months. Intensive use with overfertilisation leads to mass stands of buttercup in the meadows.
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