I walked through the eco-village in Cloughjordan and was suddenly surrounded by a sea of yellow. The hundreds of small yellow dots stretched across green grass fields for miles. At first I thought they were dandelions, but once I walked closer to them, I realized they were buttercups! These yellow wildflowers are spread across all of Ireland and I first saw them in Cloughjordan. I was amazed to see how many of them were scattered everywhere. The buttercups are a native plant to the Ireland mainland and mostly grow in moist grasslands. They bloom from May until August and its roots stay alive for two years. Each buttercup usually has five yellow petals and have three hairy, lobed leaves. I expected the many animals in Ireland, such as cows and sheep, would eat the flowers as they eat plants and grass, but the buttercups are actually poisonous to cows and humans. Therefore, that is why there are so many buttercups!
Not only are buttercups found in empty grasslands, but they are also found in forests. On a nature walk though Cloughjordan, my friend Sean and I stayed behind our group to take pictures of things surrounding us on the forest path. The photographer, Fionan, was helping me take a picture of the buttercups with the right lighting and he said “buttercups are everywhere around you, no matter where you are on the west side of Ireland.” Buttercups can be in large or small clusters, making them a unique flower to grow in numerous places, big or small. In order to survive, they thrive on large stretches of grasslands and need plenty of water and sunshine. They also thrive off of insects that pollinate the flower with the petals’ sweet nectar. The buttercups also serve as great centerpieces for tables in hostels and restaurants. As they are scattered throughout the mainland, the buttercup can truly be named as one of the brightest and most popular flower in Ireland.