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Ranunculaceae Group

About the group

Ranunculus cortusifolius

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 Ranunculaceae Day Saturday 20th June 2020

Postponed until 26th June 2021

Guest Speaker - Timothy Walker followed by a visit to Coton Manor Gardens and Nursery

Cost: Ranunculaceae members: £7or non-members £13.50

This year’s meeting of the Ranunculaceae Group is coming to middle England - Watford Village Hall, Northamptonshire. Following the AGM, we will have the annual lecture presented by Timothy Walker, who is putting together a new talk especially for the group which he has provisionally entitled - Irresistable Ranunculaceae. He will look at examples of how the many genera of Ranunculaceae contribute to our lives. In the afternoon, there will be a visit to Coton Manor Gardens and Nursery. The gardens are extensive and the nursery has 1000s of plants for sale, most of which are propagated at Coton. There is a cafe which offers a selection of light meals and snacks or attendees are welcome to bring a packed lunch to eat at the Hall or on the adjoining green.

Annual Ranunculaceae Day, 2019

The AGM was held in Silverdale in March when in the morning , we were treated to a masterclass in all things Hepatica by Diane Clements, a self-confessed hepataholic and first class lecturer. She provided more information in a totally digestible form in an hour than is usually contained in a small book. She guided us through past and present classifications of the group and how they fitted into the Ranunculaceae family, where they grew in the wild, their variability and the Japanese love of collecting the many types. Diane went on the cover all aspects of growing and breeding Hepaticas both in the garden and greenhouse. This superb talk was highlighted by stunning photographs and delivered with passion, enthusiasm and skill. In the afternoon, we went to visit Glenn Shapiro’s National Collection of Hepaticas and her garden. The Collection is housed in a barn, out of the elements and at raised height to enable the viewer to appreciate the stunning beauty of these little gems. Her garden has been made over 30 years from a limestone cliff. We wandered the zigzag paths to enjoy plants peeping from crevices. Despite the month and the weather, there were so many plants brightening the pockets between the rocks. Our last stop was Glenn’s conservatory for tea and cake and a last chat before our goodbyes and journeys homeward.

Annual Ranunculaceae Day, Saturday 15 September 2018

The sun was shining brightly on the morning of the 15th September, when the Ranunculaceae Group gathered at Laughton Village Hall, East Sussex for some light refreshment, before setting off down the lane to that wonderful garden and nursery Marchants Hardy Plants, owned by the renowned nurseryman Graham Gough.

Graham welcomed us into his garden and nursery and as is usual for Hardy Planters, many made straight for the amazing variety of plants on sale, all looking in excellent condition, considering the heat we had over the previous months.

With the retail therapy over, members were able to wander around Graham’s stunning garden, with its winding paths, whose borders overflowed with late summer colour and the tall grasses glistening in the sun.  The boundary hedges mirror the rolling Sussex hills in the distance, making the garden feel as one.

We returned to Laughton Village Hall for lunch and once refreshed, we were delighted to welcome our speaker Gill Regan, whose talk that afternoon was on ‘Ranunculaceae and their relatives’.  Gill showed some amazing pictures of the various forms of buttercups from around the world.  She then described the different plants within the buttercup family, many of which she and her husband had seen growing in the wild, not only in the United Kingdom and Europe, but as far away as New Zealand and South America.  Gill concluded her talk with beautiful pictures of species that were new to many of us.

And just to put the ‘Icing on the Cake’, we finished the day with delicious tea and cakes.

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.


Chair and Secretary
Susie Mitchell
01327 843426

Membership Secretary:
Vivienne McGhee
01684 773494

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