Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sprigs: Persian Buttercups

Five pots of Persian Buttercups (ranunculus asiaticus) are hibernating in my dining room. 

Once I bought a lush bouquet of them from a Paris street stall. The petals grew tightly packed luxurious layers, creamy yellow, orange and red. They brightened our dark little hotel room for the week, and I faded long before they did. They became my new favorite flower. 

Overly optimistic about our winter temperatures, my first attempt to grow them fizzled. I later settled for silk flowers that are quit realistic if you don't get too close. But of course they have no scent, and I can't caress the petals the way I would live flowers. 

So I bought a pack of twenty five dry and shriveled tubers. I let them sit in water for 24 hours to get reconstituted. They looked like plump fibrous spiders when I planted them, with the "body" up and the "feet" down. 

If all goes well, they should sprout in a few weeks and be ready to transplant--or leave in the pots--for gorgeous June blossoms.  

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