buttercup flower meaning

Buttercup Flower Meaning and Symbolism

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A cheerful flower, the buttercup often pops up along roadways and fields in the middle of summer. It’s a harbinger of summer joy, often found growing among daisies and wildflowers. 

Seeing the reflection of gold from a buttercup held beneath the chin is often used as a joking representation of how much you like butter. All jokes aside, this flower has a ton of symbolic meaning that you need to be aware of.

What Does Buttercup Mean?

The buttercup flower belongs to the genus Ranunculus L. This genus includes more than 93 species and subspecies.

What Do Buttercups Symbolize?

yellow buttercup

Buttercup flowers have many meanings, some of which vary depending on the color of the bloom.

The flowers most often symbolize neatness. This is because they have neat lines and organized petals that make them a great gift for somebody who doesn’t like a lot of mess or clutter.

Buttercup flowers also have some childish connotations. They can symbolize charm and humility, too.

The flower can be seen in several colors, although yellow is, of course, the most common. The symbolism of the gorgeous flower varies depending on its color.

What Does a Yellow Buttercup Mean?

Yellow buttercups symbolize joy, new beginnings, and general happiness.

What Does a Green Buttercup Symbolize?

Green buttercups usually symbolize good fortune, renewal, youth, and optimism.

What Does a Red Buttercup Mean?

Buttercups that are found in colors like red, pink, and orange are those that were artificially engineered by humans. Both green and yellow buttercups are beautiful, but pink, orange, and red flowers are truly breathtaking.

A red buttercup is most often used to symbolize passion and love, while pink is the color of romance. Orange is used to symbolize other strong emotions, like passion.

What is the Cultural Significance of a Buttercup?

There are many legends surrounding the meaning of buttercup flowers. According to the Legend of Ranunculus, a Libyan man named Ranunculus was known for his wonderful singing voice and elegant attire. He became so entranced, one day, by his own voice that he collapsed. Orpheus then transformed him into the tiny buttercup flower.

There are other legends that claim that the buttercup earned its moniker from the quality of the milk it produces in cows. Allegedly, cows that graze on buttercups produce some of the sweetest, most flavorful milk. Ironically, though, most cows will actually graze around buttercups, since they cause gastric upset.

Other legends claim that fairies are responsible for the beauty of buttercups. When a large group of fairies watched an old man crossing a field with a bag of gold, they stopped him to ask for some. He didn’t want to share and continued on, but the fairies cut a hole in the bag before he continued. The coins were scattered on the earth and buttercups then sprang forth. 

What is the Symbolism of a Buttercup Tattoo?

Buttercup tattoos usually symbolize confidence, the value of self-worth, and the power of words. 

When Should You Give Someone a Buttercup?

Buttercup flowers can be given on all kinds of occasions, including those when you want to spread cheerfulness and joy. The flower is especially appropriate for people who love wildflowers, but it can also be seen as a general symbol of goodwill, too. These flowers are often tucked into vases with other wildflowers.

*Photo by mallivan/depositphotos

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