When I was at University I had a friend who continually referred to daffodils as buttercups.
It confused me to the point I even began to question if I was getting things wrong!
So do you know the difference between daffodils and buttercups?
We are going to clear that up once and for all.
Let’s get started.
What is the Difference Between Daffodils And Buttercups?
Whilst daffodils and buttercups might look similar they are from two completely different families of plants. Buttercups have rounded petals, whereas daffodils have pointed petals and a trumpet-like bloom in the center of the plant. Buttercups grow from roots and are considered pernicious weeds that spread easily, whilst daffodils grow from bulbs and are much easier to control.
Difference #1: They Flower at Different Times
Daffodils bloom in early to late spring generally, although sometimes depending upon the weather they might even first emerge in the winter.
You can expect to see their vibrant yellow colors anytime from late February, and sometimes even in May.
Whereas buttercups flower in the summer. They tend to bloom from May through to August.
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Difference #2: They Look Different
When you compare a daffodil (above right) and a buttercup (above left) side by side, you can immediately pinpoint some key aesthetical differences.
Buttercups have five (usually) yellow petals on each flower, but they are smaller and the petals have rounded edges.
Daffodils also have five petals that are normally yellow, but they are pointed not rounded like the petals on a buttercup.
However, the biggest difference visually is the long tube-like trumpet coming out from the center of the daffodil. This is absent on the buttercup.
Difference #3: They Grow Differently
Buttercups are part of the Ranunculus genus, whereas daffodils are from the Narcissus group.
Daffodils grow from a bulb planted around 4 to 6 inches deep in the garden. On the contrary, buttercups are wildflowers that grow from roots.
Most notably daffodils are a popular choice for gardens, they naturalize in garden settings and are adaptable to various environments.
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Buttercups on the other hand are less popular for home gardens.
They are extremely invasive and many people consider them pernicious weeds. If you are not careful they will spread throughout your garden and are difficult to eradicate due to their deep roots.
One of the most popular varieties of buttercups, the creeping buttercup, “depletes potassium in the soil” and “can have a detrimental effect on surrounding plants” according to the weed identification guide.
Similarity #1: They Are the Same Color
There is a reason buttercups and daffodils are often confused for each other, and probably the main one is they both have bright and vibrant blooms.
Both buttercups and daffodils are commonly yellow, but they can both also be other colors.
Buttercups can be green, red, white, orange, pink or yellow depending upon the species.
Daffodils can be pink, white, orange and even green tinted.
Similarity #2: Both Are Toxic to Animals
Both daffodils and buttercups are toxic to animals and humans.
If they are consumed it can lead to blistering, diarrhea and vomiting in the animal or person that consumes them.
Similarity #3: Both Are Easy to Grow
Both buttercups and daffodils are very adaptable and easy-to-grow flowers.
Both can grow in pots or flower beds, and like well-drained soil with a good amount of sun and a climate that is not too hot.
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If you are asking are buttercups and daffodils the same? Then as you can see they aren’t.
They are completely different flowers from different genera of plants, although they do have a somewhat similar appearance.
They can be confused at a distance due to their bright yellow flowers, however buttercups petals are rounded, whilst daffodils have pointed petals.
Most obviously daffodils have a trumpet shape bloom emerging from the center of the plant.
And whilst you will be happy to have daffodils growing in your garden, you probably wouldn’t be so happy to have buttercups growing there.
Buttercups are considered weeds, whereas daffodils are flowering bulbs.
I hope that clears things up.