Buttercup Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

Flowers are commonly illustrated in tattoos and the buttercup is one example. This flower can represent cheerfulness and joy. It is also associated with the zodiac sign Virgo. Buttercups can also symbolize humility, summer, and tenacity. Lastly, a buttercup tattoo can also be a reference to common sayings or a song.

In this article, we’ll examine the various meanings of buttercup tattoos.

All About Buttercups

Buttercups are a type of Ranunculus, a flowering plant that is native to parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. The Latin name means “little frog” and was likely named because these flowers are commonly found near the water. 

Some species of buttercup have very strong roots and they are actually considered an invasive species in some areas because they are difficult to get rid of. Fresh buttercups can also be poisonous to humans and animals. Some people suspect that the plant was given its name because it was believed that when cows ate them, it gave milk and butter its yellow color.

Buttercup Tattoos

Women are more likely to get a buttercup tattoo as is common with most flower tattoos. These pieces tend to be small but there is the odd large torso piece as well. Many are done in color which makes it easier to identify the type of flower however, there are plenty of tattoos in black and gray as well. 

Most buttercup tattoos are done on the arm, ankle, or chest. The majority of these tattoos show the stems of the plant with multiple yellow flowers. Many are done in a minimalist design, showcasing how delicate the flower is. A few unique tattoos also show the roots of the buttercup plant.

Happiness and Joy

Many flowers represent joyfulness–the buttercup does in part because of its yellow color. There are other colors of this flower but the vast majority are yellow. This color tends to be associated with brightness and cheerfulness, similar to the sun. 

A lot of buttercup tattoos are chosen simply because of their appearance and because it makes the person happy to look at it. It is a little bright spot in the person’s day each time they see their tattoo. 

Virgo Zodiac Sign

Each zodiac sign is associated with one or more flowers. For the Virgo zodiac sign, the flowers include chrysanthemum and buttercup. Anyone born between the 23rd of August and the 22nd of September would be in this category.

For someone with the Virgo zodiac sign, they might choose to get the buttercup tattoo as a way of symbolizing their birthdate. Or a person may opt to get a tattoo of a buttercup in remembrance of a loved one who had this zodiac sign.


One of the characteristics that are associated with the buttercup flower is humility. The buttercup is not a flashy flower; rather it is simple and modest. It has delicate petals and is overall an unimposing plant.

Someone may choose a buttercup tattoo because they too are humble. They may be introverted or prefer to stay in the background as opposed to being up front and center. They aren’t seeking attention from others but are just happy to go about their day.


The buttercup flower is connected with summer because that is the time of year when it usually blooms. Also, the flower is yellow like the sun which makes people think of summer. 

Anyone who prefers summer to any other season might choose to get a buttercup tattoo. Those who enjoy being in the sunshine and enjoy all of the things summer has to offer would be well suited to get a tattoo of this summery flower.


Buttercups can be described as tenacious because of the strength of their roots. It can be difficult to eradicate these flowers because the roots hang on so well and are hard to destroy. In this way, the buttercup plant is very hardy and tough.

A person might want to get a buttercup tattoo if they feel that they also have these attributes of being strong and having a lot of tenacity. The tattoo can be a reminder of their strength. Alternatively, someone may choose this tattoo if these are qualities that they are looking to develop. Someone who wants to get stronger in their determination would be well suited to this tattoo.

Common Phrases

There are several variations on phrases that have similar meaning: Suck it up, buttercup; Lighten up, buttercup; and Chin up, buttercup. The essence of these sayings is that sometimes things happen that are beyond your control and it’s best not to dwell on them. These phrases suggest the importance of moving on from unpleasant situations.

People may choose to get a tattoo of a buttercup because one of these sayings resonates with them. Maybe they want a visual reminder not to sweat the small stuff but to focus on moving forward in their life. Someone who gets a tattoo for these reasons may also incorporate the phrase into the tattoo with the flower.

Term of Endearment

There are plenty of names that people use for their loved ones that can be called terms of endearment. For example, honey, sweetheart, sugar, or even buttercup. These names are not just used for romantic partners; they can also be used with children or other cherished family members.

A parent might choose to get this tattoo if they call their child buttercup, particularly if the child has passed away; this can be a remembrance tattoo. Someone who calls their partner buttercup might opt for this tattoo as a way to symbolize their love.

Song Title

In 1968, the British band The Foundations came out with a song entitled Build Me Up, Buttercup. This was a hit in many countries and was featured in movies and commercials years later.

Fans of this song or the band in general might choose to get a tattoo of a buttercup. This is one way of showing their dedication to the band and their enjoyment of this song.

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