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Ranunculaceae Group

About the group

Clematis alpina

The Ranunculaceae Group, one of the newest groups in the Hardy Plant Society, was formed in 2007; its aims are to inform, educate and enthuse about numerous ranunculids, by means of two Newsletters a year and an Annual Meeting. It now has just over 100 members from the UK, Europe and the USA, and has as its patrons renowned plantsmen Bleddyn Wynn-Jones and Dan Hinkley.

The botanical buttercup family Ranunculaceae, perhaps one of the most familiar and well-loved of all the plant families, derives its name from the Latin rana, a frog, because many of its members thrive in damp places. There are about 60 genera and 2500 species, more than enough to retain the interest of the members of the Ranunculaceae Group for many years!

Many species and cultivars of this large family of plants are widely grown in our mixed or herbaceous borders, such as Actaea, Aconitum, Adonis, Aquilegia, Anemone, Beesia, Caltha, Clematis, Delphinium, Eranthis, Hepatica, Helleborus, Pulsatilla, Ranunculus, Thalictrum and Trollius. The family also includes other less well known members such as Asteropyrum, Isopyrum, Oxygraphis, Semiaquilegia, and Paraquilegia, and there is even a woody shrub, Xanthorhiza, from North America, which is usually placed within the buttercup family.



This is produced twice a year, in Spring and Autumn, and includes members' articles and notes on a wide variety of ranunculaceae species and cultivars. It is hoped that as many members as possible will contribute so that it can become a forum for discussion on topics of interest, such as tips on cultivation, members' favourite ranunculids, in-depth accounts of a particular genus and plant hunting in remote places.

Annual Meeting and Study Day

Our annual get-together features guest speakers, garden visits and of course the chance to buy plants from specialist nurseries and a members' sales table. We plan to visit a different venue each year so that as many members as possible have a chance to attend and to vary the date so that different groups of plants can form the main focus.

Why not consider joining our group and enjoy reduced fees when attending our study Days? 
Current rates and application forms are available under 'Further Information' below.

Annual Meeting and Study Day 2017 Report

It was a beautiful summers’ day with warm sunshine and clear blue sky on Saturday 3 June 2017 when the HPS Ranunculaceae Group held their 2017 AGM at North Warnborough Village Hall, Hampshire.

On arrival at the hall, members were able to purchase some plant treasurers from Butterfly Cottage Plants, Cheriton, before the official business of the AGM.  This was followed by a most interesting talk on ‘The World of Ranunculaceae –its plants and people’, presented by Jennifer Harmer and Sue Ward.  The photographs were excellent and it was lovely to see the link between the plant and its name.  Jennifer Harmer as the HPS Historian gave a wonderful insight into the history behind these famous people.  Sue Ward described the plants qualities and their growing habits  She also explained how some of the plants shown had been passed over by more modern varieties, but as Sue said, some of those from yesteryear have better longevity, than some of the new micro propagated ones today.

In the afternoon we visited West Green Garden, Hartley Wintney.  In the vast greenhouse we were welcomed by Marylyn Abbott, the owner of the garden, she then gave us an introductory talk into the history of the garden and its various owners, which was not only interesting, but also very amusing.  We were then able to wander round the beautiful garden ending up back at the greenhouse for a cream tea.  What more could we have wished for in a day, amazing lecture, plant sales, delightful summer garden and a cream tea, Perfect!

Next year, Saturday 15 September 2018 we are in East Sussex. In the morning we will visit that wonderful garden and nursery Marchants Hardy Plants owned by renowned plantsman Graham Gough and in the afternoon Gill Regan will talk on ‘Buttercups and their Relatives’.

To book for this event
For those wishing to pay by cheque please click on this link Booking Form or those who would prefer to pay by Electronic Transfer please click on Electronic Transfer and then follow the instructions.

Annual Meeting and Study Day 2019

AGM, Lecture and Nursery Visit - Sunday 17 March 2019

The next meeting of the Ranunculaceae Group is going up country to the North West of England, to the village of Silverdale, near Carnforth, Lancashire on Sunday 17 March 2019.
Following the AGM we have our annual lecture presented by Diane Clement speaking on ‘Hepaticas – a growing obsession’.  Diane is the Alpine Garden Society’s Director of the Seed Exchange and is also an exhibitor and judge for the AGS.  Hepaticas are one of her plant interests, along with other bulbous and woodland plants, which she grows in her shady garden in Wolverhampton.
Her talk will look at the genus and where they come from.  She will explain how to grow hepatica from seed, including how to pot on and give advice on all-round care of the plants.  She will bring seed and plants for sale.
In the afternoon we will visit Glenn Shapiro’s nursery at her home in Silverdale, which holds her National Collection of Hepaticas.
It was her late friend Betty Kershaw, who encouraged Glenn join Plant Heritage way back in 2006.  Then in 2009, she heard that Michael Myers had given up his National Collection and as Glenn had just retired from sheep farming, felt another serious interest was required.  She had collected most of the genus that was readily available, but to be able to gain the more unusual species she decided to become a National Collection Holder.  It was in 2010 that she was awarded the National Collection Status for Hepatica species and cultivars (excluding H. noblis var japonica cultivars).
Glenn will be selling her Hepaticas at this event.

We hope this has whetted your appetite to attend our next meeting, and we look forward to seeing you in March, for a really interesting and informative day, with a plant or two added in!

If you are travelling up from the South and would like to make it a really interesting weekend, on the Saturday 16 March 2019 the Alpine Garden Society Show is on in Kendal.

Cost for the day:
Ranunculaceae Group Members        £9.00 per person
Non Ranunculaceae Group Members        £18.00 per person

To book this event:
For those wishing to pay by cheque please click on this link Booking Form or those who would prefer to pay by Electronic Transfer please click on Electronic Transfer and then follow the instructions.

Further Information


If you are already a member of the HPS and these snippets of information give you food for thought and you would like to join our enthusiastic group, please click on the following link if you wish to pay by cheque application form (pdf) or if you would prefer to pay by Electronic Transfer please click on the following link for details.  Annual subscription rates run from 1st January to 31st December each year.

UK members:   

£4   Single or £6 Joint (two members at one address) for one year.

 £12 Single or £18 Joint for 3 years.

Overseas members:      

£5 Single or £7 Joint per annum.

To join the group please complete the downloadable application forms above. There is a choice of payment by cheque, or electronic transfer.


Membership Secretary:
Vivienne McGhee

For other information regarding the HPS Ranunculaceae Group please contact the Secretary:
Sue Hough
01420 562039

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