The Buttercup Bush Information:
Turnera ulmifolia (Bush) is a common species in the genus Ulmus. It grows from Mexico southward into Central America and westward into South America.
Its flowers are white or pink with yellow centers, which bloom from late summer through early fall. They have five petals each, and they are arranged in a fan shape around the stem at its base. The leaves are opposite, serrate, and alternate along the stem. The stems grow up to 2 feet tall and wide. Buttercup Bush Info: Learn About Growing Turnera Buttercup Bushes.
A few years ago I was working in my garden in Texas when I noticed a small patch of buttercups growing near one of our large oak trees. At first I thought it might be a native species, but after some research I learned that it wasn’t native to Texas.
Turns out it had been brought here from Mexico by settlers during the 1800’s. When the original owners died, their estate passed to their children who then sold the land to others until today there were only a couple of families left on the property. Apparently none of them wanted any responsibility for turning over the land to someone else so they just let it go wild! The tumbleweeds overtook the unused sections and today it’s covered with prickly pear cactus, mesquites, and this beautiful white buttercup flower. Makes for a nice photo!
The buttercup is a perennial plant that can grow in a wide range of conditions. It has several different species which thrive in grasslands, forests, swamps, and even rocky hillsides.
It is used as a medicinal plant in many different cultures and can be found in the wild in almost every continent.
It has a number of different folk names, including ‘Rattle Grass’ and ‘Ring-a-ring o’ roses’. The name ‘buttercup’ comes from its bright yellow flower, which looks similar to the flower of the primrose, another common field plant.
The flowers themselves can range from white to deep vibrant yellow. They have 5 petals, 5 sepals, and many bright yellow stamens. The leaves are shiny and dark green and are palmately lobed with toothed edges.
It is a popular remedy for several different medical ailments. It can be used as a sedative, a painkiller, an anti-inflammatory, an antispasmodic, a diuretic, and a medicine for gastric complaints.
It has a long history of use in herbal medicine, particularly in the ancient Indian and Chinese systems of medicine.
Buttercups prefer full sunlight and moist soil but can grow almost anywhere. They are tolerant of both wet and dry conditions and can survive both wildfire and drought.
They bloom from March all the way through October, though depending on the climate they may bloom longer or shorter. They grow up to 4 feet tall though it is not uncommon for them to be found much shorter. They have a deep rooted, sturdy structure which allows them to survive wildfire and drought. They are primarily wind pollinated but some species are also capable of being pollinated by insects. Buttercups have several different varieties, including the Yellow Archangel (pictured), the Lesser Butterfly Flower, the Common Cow Grass, and the Tall Buttercup.
The buttercup is best identified by its bright yellow flower, shiny green leaves, and the broad green stem. It is a common plant in most areas but can be found in grasslands, forests, swamps, rocky hillsides, and just about everywhere in between.
Its roots run deep and it can survive both wildfire and drought, making it one of the hardiest plants around.
The buttercup is a poisonous plant with a pretty flower! It contains a toxic acid that can cause irritation, inflammation, and blistering if it comes into contact with skin or is ingested.
It is most dangerous to children who are likely to pick and eat it. Its scientific name is Ranunculus, which is also the scientific name of the Water Nymph in Roman Mythology.
Buttercups are beautiful to look at but dangerous to touch! They can be hazardous to livestock and other animals and should be avoided.
Buttercups contain toxic alkaloids that can cause anything from blistering, rashes, and irritation to death. Even grazing livestock should be kept away from them!
The buttercup got its name from the olden days when people used its oily sap to cure leather just like butter was used for the same purpose. It has been used as a folk remedy for pretty much everything, from treating snakebite to killing lice and warts.
It can be poisonous if ingested or applied to the skin.
Buttercups have been used for various medicinal purposes since ancient times. The ancient Greeks used it for throat problems, the ancient Romans used it as a sedative, the Native Americans used it for kidney and bladder problems, and in the Middle Ages it was used to treat leprosy.
In the 19th century it was used as an antispasmodic. In some countries, buttercups are still used as a tea to treat gastric issues. The roots, leaves, stems, and flowers are all poisonous.
A story goes around about the creation of the buttercup flower. Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, had a daughter named Persephone.
Hades, the god of the underworld, fell in love with her and took her to be his wife. Demeter was so sad about the loss of her daughter that the earth began to die and nothing would grow. In her sadness and anger, she refused to let anything grow until Zeus struck a deal with her. He decreed that Persephone could return to her mother for three-quarters of the year but had to return to Hades for the other quarter. During these months, the earth flourished. During the months that her daughter was away, nothing would grow, creating the four seasons.
This story explains the life cycle of the buttercup, which goes from a bud to a flower during the spring, summer, and fall and closes up when winter arrives. It is also known as the Crowfoot due to the resemblance of its black seeds to a crow’s foot.
Buttercups have been used for a multitude of different things since ancient times. The Ancient Egyptians used the plant to treat sore throat and the Ancient Greeks used it to treat kidney and bladder issues.
In the Middle Ages, it was used to treat leprosy. While it contains a toxic acid, it has been used in modern times as an antispasmodic.
Buttercups are related to Cowslips and thus are in the same botanical family as the Foxglove, which is also poisonous. The toxin in a buttercup is called protoanemonin and is found in all parts of the plant but especially in the root.
It has been used as a dye for wool and the yellow flowers have been used to make yellow food dyes.
Buttercups are common throughout the world but are less common in hotter areas. They prefer damp soil and can be found growing wild throughout England, Europe, and North America.
Buttercups got their name from the old English word for the color yellow, which is “butter.” They are also sometimes called Crowfoot because the black seeds found in the bottom of the petals resemble a bird’s foot.
Buttercups are a type of flower known as a “cleistogamy.” A cleistogamy is a flower that self-fertilizes without the help of insects or animals.
The petals tend to be smaller than other flowers and remain tightly closed until after it has already fertilized itself. Buttercups are the most common type of cleistogamy and have been used to produce many different types of hybrids.
The buttercup is the angriest flower in the world. It has no friends except the Daisy, and even they don’t get along.
Buttercups are easy to grow from seed and large patches can be grown in the spring. They need to be planted about a foot apart and prefer damp soil.
They can also be bought at most garden stores.
The leaves of a buttercup are heart-shaped and have a thick stalk. The petals are yellow.
Buttercups are part of the primrose family and look like smaller versions of Cowslips. They also tend to grow in large patches as well.
The buttercup is a small yellow flower and the first flower to bloom in the springtime. It is distinguished by its four leaves that sit below the yellow petals.
Each of those leaves has a thick green stalk and a heart-shaped base.
A plant that has been extinct for eight thousand years. It was originally a white flower but turned black when the Great Shadow came.
During World War II, Jews in concentration camps would sometimes plant Death Camas to alert other Jews if they found themselves in a camp. They would do this by carving a cross into the camas.
There are reports of people surviving thanks to this method.
While it’s not a myth that Death Camas does exist, there are rumors about it killing anyone who touches it. This isn’t true, however the plant is incredibly poisonous.
The root in particular is three times more toxic than the poison of the common European adder. Eating any part of it can cause severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If not treated immediately, it can lead to coma and death.
It’s often called the “Corpse Plant” because victims of the poison appear to have been dead. It’s related to the lily family and can grow up to three feet tall.
The leaves are narrow and grass-like while the flowers are a purple color.
Some people believe that Death Camas is the plant that killed the Donner Party. In reality, it’s unlikely as it grows primarily in the Western half of the United States.
However, there have been sightings in California and Oregon where the Donner Party was traveling through. It’s possible that they may have gone out of their way to eat it.
Death Camas looks similar to an edible plant called Trout Lily. There is also a rumor that the Donner Party consumed it thinking it was an edible plant.
This is partially true and the rumors are related: some people in the Donner Party did consume Death Camas thinking it was Trout Lily. This was the cause of many of their illnesses and deaths.
Some people believe that the Donner Party was trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and resorted to cannibalism to survive. While this is true for some members of the group, it’s not entirely true for everyone.
Some people did eat other people due to necessity, but it wasn’t the same for everyone.
The Donner Party was a group of settlers traveling to California in 1846. The journey was long and they were delayed by General Stephen Kearny ordering them to help him in the Mexican-American War.
This illness coupled with their late departure meant that they had to travel through the Sierra Mountains in the winter. In this cold weather, many of them fell ill with what was believed to be leptospirosis or lyme disease. A few people died but others survived and reached California overall.
This part of the story, while tragic, is also important because it explains how the Donner Party got trapped in the Sierra Mountains. There are conflicting stories about why this happened.
Some people believe that it was a combination of bad luck and lack of experience traveling through that area. Other people believe that George Donner and others in charge of the settlers forced them to stay behind to make sure they reached California safely.
This story is about the ill-fated Donner Party, a group of settlers who set out for California in 1846. They got trapped by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and some of them resorted to cannibalism to survive.
The movie plays out differently than the real story but it does end with a few members escaping California. James Reed goes on to live long enough to write a book about his experience.
He dies in poverty at age 65. William McCutchen dies of malaria in 1873. Some other survivors die at various times.
The remaining survivors are found by a group of survivors. Jacob Donner is dead and some others have died of illness.
The remaining survivors are too weak to finish building the wagon wheel so they eat Isaac Donner. Eventually the group escapes with the help of a Native American guide and a third attempt.
The final escape attempt involves a man named Louis Keseberg. Louis gets trapped in the mountains over the winter and his wife and child die.
Louis is found in the spring by some members of the Second Relief. He’s half-mad and near death from starvation.
Of the eighty settlers who left California, forty-seven survived and returned. This left twenty-three settlers who either died in the mountains or decided to stay in California.
George Donner was among the dead, having starved to death with his children. The whole experience traumatized everyone involved and people would tell stories of the horrors that happened for many years.
Once it’s confirmed that everyone will be unable to survive the harsh winter, a group is sent to try and save them. The First Relief reaches the mountain camps in February 1847.
They bring survivors out and many of them suffer from illness. Louis Keseberg is brought out and he barely stands up when he reaches California.
The next attempt involves taking a wagon to Fort Sutter in California for supplies and bringing them back to the mountains. The wagon gets stuck in the snow and it takes four days to get it out.
Eventually the settlers are brought out but William Eddy is too weak to bring his wife out. She ends up making the Second Relief.
In January 1847 a second relief mission is organized by William Eddy and William Foster. Reed, McCutchen and Stanton refused to go on what could be a suicide mission so they stay behind.
With fresh supplies, the new rescue party sets off into the mountains in the middle of January.
The First Relief rescues eleven survivors and brings them out. There are still three survivors in the camps but two of them are too weak to travel.
Sarah Foster (William Foster’s wife) dies on the way out, having given her blanket and some food to another member of the party. Her death is a heavy blow for everyone involved and they return to the camps to rest.
The first attempt at a rescue mission is made by William Eddy and William Foster. James Reed and a group of settlers had gone ahead to California but Reed returns with another settler, William McCutchen, and joins the rescue mission.
The First Relief leave in December.
In October, William Eddy decides to organize a rescue mission. William Foster joins him and they set off into the mountains with several other settlers.
Reed refuses to leave his family so Eddy and Foster go on without him.
The Donner Party has settled into a routine. The stronger members of the group hunt for food while the weaker ones either look after the children or, in some cases, don’t do much at all.
Louis Keseberg, a German settler, does nothing but complain.
In September, William Eddy and William Foster go out hunting. While they are gathering woodhazelnut bushes, they get lost and have to sleep out in the cold.
They’re found by a group of Indians who feed and look after them. The Indians return them to the Donner Party and it’s about the only good thing to happen to them.
The First Relief returns to the Donner Party with three survivors: two adults and a child. They also bring news that there are other settlers further ahead and they request help to bring them out.
The Donner Brothers agree to send help.
The First Relief is divided into two groups. James Reed organizes one group of settlers to build a wagon road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains so that the others can get through in the spring.
Another group, led by George Donner, goes ahead to California with their wagon and cattle. The First Relief stay with the Donner Party for a few weeks and help them get over the mountains.
The First Relief is a group of settlers who leave the Donner Party in September to get help from California. They make it to California and return with a Second Relief in the spring.
The Donner Party are forced to spend the winter on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The First Relief sets off for California to get help.
The Donner Party set off but soon run into bad weather. It takes them eight days to cover what should be four days journey.
By the time they reach the Sierra Nevada Mountains, seven of the settlers and dozens of cattle have died.
The Donner Party sets off from Fort Bridger. The group is made up mostly of farmers and their families and there are about eighty of them in total.
They have five wagons and a number of cattle. James Reed, a local hunter, leads the group. He gets advice from two other locals, William Eddy and William Foster.
The Donner Party are a group of settlers who set off for California during the winter. By the time they get there most have either died or turned back.
Despite this, the journey changes the history of the United States…
What Went Wrong?
The Donner Party got into trouble for a number of reasons. The first was that they set off at the worst time of year. March is normally the best time to travel across the United States as the spring rains have started and the worst of the snow has gone. In 1846, this didn’t happen. The Donner Party set off in late February and found themselves stuck in the snow soon after they started out.
The Donner Party travelled too far ahead of the other settlers. Most of the settlers travelling to California that year left from Independence, Missouri later that year.
The Donner Party left far too early and didn’t meet any other settlers until they reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains. By then it was too late and they were trapped by an early snowfall.
The Donner Party were too large a group to be moved across the mountains. The First Relief went out to try and rescue the settlers with just seven men and a few packmules.
They had to leave women and children behind and when they got back they were exhausted. William Eddy, one of the settlers who went out with the First Relief, was so tired that he decided to stay in California for the rest of that year and go again the next spring.
The Donner Brothers cut a deal with the First Relief which saw them leave earlier than the other settlers in exchange for payment. This meant that they got across the mountains before the First Relief but it also meant that they were stranded further forward than the other settlers.
If the First Relief hadn’t volunteered to help, things might have turned out very differently.
The First Relief and the Donner Party ended up arguing. The First Relief were angry that the Donner’s had cut a deal to leave before the other settlers and reportedly threatened to shoot James Reed and his party if they tried to leave before the others.
The argument led to a period of mistrust that might have been costly when it came to the final retreat.
Sources & references used in this article:
Bush medicine in the Exumas and long island, bahamas a field study by J Eldridge – Economic Botany, 1975 – Springer
Duke’s handbook of medicinal plants of Latin America by JA Duke – 2008 – books.google.com
The encyclopedia of psychoactive plants: ethnopharmacology and its applications by C Rätsch – 2005 – books.google.com
Medicinal plants of Jamaica. Parts 1 & 11 by GF Asprey, P Thornton – West Indian Med. J, 1955 – my-island-jamaica.com
Plants for tropical landscapes: a gardener’s guide by FD Rauch, PR Weissich – 2000 – books.google.com
A review of medicinal plant research at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica by SA Mitchell, MH Ahmad – West Indian Med J, 2006 – researchgate.net
Plants of Maine: Our Native Flora & Some Notes on Maine Cattle by FL Scribner – 1874 – digitalcommons.usm.maine.edu