Ranunculus Flowers: From Ancient Origins to Modern Meanings

Ranunculus flowers are a much-loved cut flower in floral arrangements and wedding bouquets. Also known as buttercups, these blooms turn heads with their layer after layer of dainty, paper-thin petals. What’s more, Ranunculus flowers have a fascinating story to be told. Here we’ll take you through everything you need to know about ranunculus flower meaning, symbolism, origins, myths, colors, and more.

Ultimate guide to Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Etymological Meaning

Ranunculus refers to the entire Ranunculaceae botanical family. They are delicate flowers that originated from Central Asia and eventually reached Europe and other parts of the world.

This beautiful flower naturally grows as abundant as little frogs along streams, which is perhaps why it was named ‘ranunculus.’ The name is a combination of two Latin words, rana, meaning frog, and unculus, which translates to little. Thus, the name ranunculus means ‘little frogs.’

They are also known as buttercup, Persian buttercup, or Coyote eyes

Myths About Ranunculus Flowers 

The name Coyote eyes (sometimes called Coyote’s eyes) originated from the Native Americans. According to a legend, there was a bored coyote who took his eyes out, tossed them into the air, and caught them to entertain himself. While doing this, an eagle quickly plunged and stole the Coyote’s eyes mid-air. As a result, the blind Coyote roamed around the fields until it found a replacement for his lost eyes – which were two buttercup flowers.

But there’s another famed story. As claimed by a Persian legend, a beautiful nymph caught the heart of a young Persian prince. He sang to her night and day to express his admiration. However, for that reason, the other nymphs became so tired of listening to him sing, that they turned him into a ranunculus flower.

Another tale tells a different fate for that young Persian prince. The beautiful nymph rejected the prince. Because he could not endure the heartbreak, the prince died, and a giant ranunculus flower appeared in his place.

Ranunculus Flower Meaning and Symbolism

While most flowers represent a specific birth month, ranunculus does not. These flowers are not birth flowers for any particular month, which makes them suitable all year round. 

Although ranunculus flowers generally symbolize charm and attractiveness, their different colors convey additional meaning. Because of their many colors, they are suitable as gifts for special occasions like birthdays, promotions, graduations, and anniversaries.

Pink Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Ranunculus flowers gifting

In the language of flowers, pink blooms symbolize love, romance, sympathy, and admiration. This symbolism, which fits well with the meaning of ranunculus flowers, makes pink ranunculus blooms the perfect gift for your special someone, close friend, or mother. 

Orange Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Orange Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Is your friend or a family member having a bad week and needing some pick-me-upper? Try sending her a fresh bouquet of orange ranunculus flowers to cheer her up and brighten her day. 

Orange blooms symbolize positive energy, joy, and happiness. And with the undeniable beauty of ranunculus flowers, you can quickly turn that not-so-good week into a good one. Also, radiant orange flowers make any area in a home brighter. Therefore, they make a great addition to home decorations.

Red Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Red Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Like red roses, a red ranunculus flower symbolizes passion, romantic love, and romance. Instead of giving her the usual red roses for romantic occasions, why don’t you give your wife or girlfriend a charming arrangement of red ranunculus flowers that she could not resist? 

These flowers are the perfect gift to express romance, love, and passion to your other half. They are a great gift, with or without a special occasion.

Yellow Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Yellow Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Like orange blooms, yellow ranunculus flowers symbolize joy and happiness primarily due to their vivid and cheerful hue. They are also a symbol of friendship and positivity. Gifting yellow ranunculus blooms is like bringing comfort and warmth to the recipient.

Moreover, yellow flowers, in general, are a popular choice for gifting flowers at the workplace.

Purple Ranunculus flowers

Purple Ranunculus Flower Meaning

Purple ranunculus flowers symbolize royalty, beauty, charm, and elegance, while purple flowers, in general, signify creativity, grace, and refinement. Because of this association, purple ranunculus flowers are excellent gift flowers for someone you value most in your life or for someone you look up to and admire much.  

White Ranunculus Flower Meaning

White Ranunculus Flower Meaning

While ranunculus flowers traditionally mean charm, the white color adds just the right amount of elegance, making these blooms even harder to resist. 

White ranunculus flowers symbolize elegance, pure love, innocence, and grace. An arrangement of pure white ranunculus blooms is a sure way to let someone special know how much you value her and your relationship.

Besides, these blooms are also magnificent as a gift flower for grandparents, whether it’s their birthday or just to let them know that you appreciate them.

Wrapping Up

The Ranunculus stands out not just for its radiant petals but for the depth of its symbolism and rich history. As we’ve journeyed through its meanings and origins, this flower holds a special place in both horticultural and cultural narratives worldwide. Whether you’re choosing a Ranunculus bouquet to convey a message of charm and attraction or simply admiring its beauty in a garden, this flower, with its intricate layers and profound significance, is truly a marvel of nature.

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