Growing to a height of about 40cm, Goldilocks Buttercup is a strange plant in that it quite often displays deformed flowers with some of the golden-yellow petals missing. The flowers are 15-25 mm across with between none and five petals and numerous stamens. The sepals are erect or spreading and the flowers are borne on sparsely hairy stems. The basal leaves are kidney-shaped, with three to five lobes, and the upper stem leaves are deeply divided into three to six narrow segments. They die off by summer.
This is a plant that likes damp woodland, hedgerows and churchyards. It is a native perennial and found mainly in northern and eastern parts of Ireland. It belongs to the Buttercup/Ranunculaceae family and, in common with other members of that family, it is poisonous. The fruit is a globular cluster, finely hairy with a short beak. It flowers from April to June.
I first saw this species in 2018 when Jackie O’Connell pointed it out to me. I photographed it at that time.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre