Friday 27 May 2016

Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) possible mutation

I found this flower on 30 April 2016 while I've been hiking trough Lyulin Mountain in Bulgaria, at approximately at 1300 m (4300 ft) above see level in the outskirts of grass field bordering with forest, partially in shade. There were Meadow Buttercups (Ranunculus acris) nearby and while I am aware that there are cultivars and variations of the species with many petals, this one looked different. It may not be significant difference, but the petals were narrower then these of the cultivar "Multiplex" for example and also the flower didn't look so "packed" with petals, next the leafs where very deeply cut and sitting on long (more then 50% of the length of the flower stem) stems.

When I found it, I was unable to say nothing more then it looks like Meadow Buttercup, but at least I was able to appreciate that it is noticeably different and is in far too remote place to be simply escaped house plant or cultivar. Then I started looking for another one, but even after 6 hours of searching I couldn't find anything similar. Now there are three options of what it could be, first one and most likely is that I found either cultivar or hybrid that by some odd coincidence got in very remote place in the middle of the forest in that mountain, second possibility is that it as a rare naturally occurring mutation of the Meadow Buttercup and the third is that it is some closely related, but different and much less common species and that is why I can't find exact match in internet. The most exiting would be to happen that I stumbled across some new species, variety or at least mutation, but because we talk about Europe, where every stone was turned in the last several centuries by all kind of explorers and researchers, I know that this is very unlikely, but still who knows, it may have been missed somehow until now. Anyway, I'll keep researching the subject and if I find anything new, I'll post an update.
Growing at the outskirts of grass field and forest in partial shade
Close up, note the narrow petals
Close up of leaf, lower were sitting on very large stems and all were deeply cut
No visible or at least yellow coloured sepals
See also: Hiking through Lyulin Mountain

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