Yellow alpine buttercup

The rare yellow alpine buttercup is only found in rock fields in the central part of the Southern Alps, between Aoraki Mt Cook and Arthurs Pass National Park’s.

It may look delicate but it lives in harsh mountain environments and loves having its feet wet. It’s latin name ranunculus means little frog and it’s thought it refers to the marshy habitat the buttercup enjoys.

You will come acros the yellow alpine buttercup high in the mountains, often on cliff faces and permanently damp ledges near icefields and glaciers. They are hard to spot as their blue-grey leaves blend into the rock fields, but when they decide to reproduce it’s a different story with their large yellow flowers calling in pollinators. It is most easily recognised by those bright yellow flowers in January and February.

Photos Jane Godson