Sep. 12, 2019

hairy buttercup, Ranunculus sardous

We may tend to think of the technical names of plants having originated with Linnaeus in the 1700's. That was of course just our current system. Nothing is entirely new, just built on what came before. The species name 'sardous' here was bestowed by Pliny around 70 A. D. Pliny the Elder compiled an early encyclopedia, in which he intended to include everything known at that time. The Chinese and others would probably have disputed that. Naturalis Historia did become an early model for encyclopedias. Pliny also deserves postumous credit for trying to save people from Vesuvius. Anyway, Ranunculus sardous perpetuates the name he gave this, or maybe a similar plant. This Eurasian occurs in weedy situations in AL, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV, BC, and NB. Washtenaw Co MI, 5/10/12.