Buttercup Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Buttercup Flower Meaning and Symbolism

There are over 600 distinct species of the Ranunculaceae family that includes buttercup flowers. The word ranunculus is derived from two Latin words, rana and unculus. These words literally mean ‘small frogs’. This could be the reason buttercup flowers are found near rivers or maybe they resemble frogs.

The buttercup flower has been featured in myths and tales of the Persian Empire. They also have deep roots in Native American Folklore.

The original buttercup flower is a small meadow yellow flower. The love people had for this plant has led to the creation of numerous hybrid varieties mainly grown for decorative and medicinal purposes. Other buttercup varieties like the waterfowl or Ranunculus aquatic have been used for years to liven up garden lakes.

In this article, we examine the meaning and symbolism of the buttercup flower.

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Meaning of the Buttercup Flower

Since flower meanings have been around for centuries, they have been translated in different ways depending on the time and the culture. This can also be said of buttercup flowers, although buttercup flowers seem to have many different meanings.

Buttercup flowers generally mean neatness, joy, purity, happiness, and humility. The buttercup flower can also mean cheerfulness and playfulness because of its appearance.


The buttercup flower is unlike other flowers. Looking at the arrangement of petals and the beautiful natural design; we can safely conclude that buttercup flowers symbolize neatness or tidiness. Therefore, the buttercup flowers are good gifts for people who don’t like large bouquets. It is also a good gift for someone who doesn’t like clutter.


The buttercup flower can also symbolize humility. Compared to other flowers, buttercups are not as extravagant, but they still attract attention. They symbolize humility because of their simple and beautiful appearance.

This makes buttercups good gifts to people you look up to. They also make great substitutes for roses on many occasions.

Positivity and Joy.

Buttercups can also symbolize joy and positive emotions. Take, for example, the yellow buttercup which can be used as gifts for birthdays and anniversaries. 

Buttercup Color Meanings

Buttercup flowers come in varied tones of red, yellow, green, orange, and pink. The natural buttercup colors are red; yellow and green. Here’s what buttercup colors mean.

Yellow Buttercup Flower Meaning

Yellow is the color of new beginnings and therefore, yellow buttercups are symbolic of new beginnings and new friendships. Yellow buttercups are symbolic of happiness and joy.

They are a good gift if you want to brighten someone’s day. Plant yellow buttercups in your garden to bring positive energy. You can also plant them in pots as a house plant to bring life into a home.

Green Buttercup Flower Meaning

Green is always associated with nature and rejuvenation. Usually, green buttercups are found in the wild and these buttercups symbolize youthfulness, renewal, and optimism. Green buttercups can also be introduced to homes and gardens to brighten the landscape.

Red Buttercup Flower and Meaning

Red has always been associated with passion and deep emotions of love. Red buttercup flowers are symbolic of love and desire; making them perfect gifts to someone you love. Red buttercup flowers are good alternatives to red roses.

Pink Buttercup Flower Meaning

Because of their beauty, pink buttercups are symbolic of many things among them gentleness and femininity. Pink buttercups can also mean love and romance making them perfect gifts for someone you admire. 

Orange Buttercup Flower Meaning

Orange buttercups are a symbol of strong emotions. Gift them to someone you hold in high regard.

Cultural Symbolism of the Buttercup Flower

As we have already mentioned, the buttercup flowers are associated with humility and childishness across cultures. For example in America, the buttercup flower is called coyote’s eyes.

Until recently, it was a common childhood game for children to place the reflective petals of the buttercup under their chins and if the chin reflected the yellow color, then they were said to enjoy or like butter.

The buttercup flower also played a significant role during the Victorian era. It was used by men to indicate to the lady that you find her charming and attractive.


Like any other flower, buttercup flowers have been revered for many years in different cultures. Naturally, buttercups come in yellow, green, and red. Different hybrid varieties have since been developed coming in different colors.

Buttercup flowers carry meanings and are symbolic of many things such as neatness, humility, positivity, and joy. Plant buttercups in the garden or around the house to add a decorative touch.

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