The globe flower belongs to the buttercup family and is also known regionally as buttercup, goldhead or ball ranunculus. The beautiful yellow flowers grow wild in wet meadows and on the banks of streams, on bodies of water, banks and above all in mountains. They like altitudes of over 3,000 m and grow there in tall forb corridors. The globe flower is slightly poisonous and is avoided by grazing cattle for this reason. However, it is endangered in the wild nationwide. In the past, it was processed into a remedy for scurvy. The globe flower is native to Europe, especially in central and northern Europe. In 1995 she was flower of the year. It doesn’t have its funny name because of the trolls that live in the mountains, but because Old High German “troll” means something like round as a ball. The flowers have just bare stems and grow to a height of between 20 and 60 cm. Its leaves are somewhat reminiscent of Geranium.

location and use

Globeflowers, with the Latin name Trollius europaeus, occur throughout the Alps, but also in the lowlands. The plants like the mountains, they appreciate the wet, humus-rich soil that is available in ditches and bogs. You don’t have to create a raised bog in your home garden to properly care for the globe flowers. The plants are also satisfied with garden soil. Provided, of course, that this is:

  • rich in humus
  • wet
  • rich in nutrients

From this it follows that the globe flower feels most comfortable at the edge of the garden pond, in a muddy hollow or near a stream. The plants should be kept in partial shade to full sun, they need some light. The plants are perennial, and of course you shouldn’t just dig them up somewhere in nature, but buy them in the “Perennials” department in gardening shops or in hardware stores. In specialist shops you will not only find the European globe flower, but also the Asian globe flower with its orange-yellow flowers and the Chinese globe flower, whose flowers are almost red. All Globeflowers need this moist, humus and nutrient-rich soil and can be settled around bodies of water.

Although globe flowers were/are popularly used as medicinal plants for constipation and a lack of vitamin C, one should rather refrain from doing so. They contain a weak toxin that is thought to be responsible for the diarrhea that clears constipation. Before you resort to medicinal herbs, you should consult a doctor. Animals naturally stay away from globe flowers and usually do not eat them, they seem to know about the poison. Keep small children away from the stock. Globeflowers do not contain any contact poison, but children usually test everything for edibility. If there are children in the household, water bodies in the garden and the globe flowers around should be secured accordingly.


Globeflowers need a lot of water, the soil should be regularly moist to wet. They forgive isolated dryness, but it is not ideal. Globeflowers are relatively easy to care for, they are cut down to the ground after the first flowering so that the second flowering can take place. If this happens consistently, globeflowers will also bloom more than twice a year. However, you should consider leaving the flowers on the plant in early autumn so that the seeds can fall out. Nothing more actually happens. After flowering can be fertilized. Globeflowers look best in their natural environment, and they bloom there for several days and not just once in summer. The globular flowers with up to 15 petals sit on top of the bare, often only slightly branched stems,

Globeflowers do not need any special care other than the already mentioned pruning for flowering, and since the flowers are native to Germany, you don’t have to pay special attention to anything during the winter. The same applies as applies to all green plants:

  • remove wilted leaves in early winter
  • Possibly trim the stems a bit
  • in extremely cold weather, cover plant remains above ground


A fleece or jute sack on the garden land can protect against sharp winds and keep out light frosts. But Globeflowers are generally hardy. Like many flowers, the plants retreat into the root system in winter. Stems, leaves and flowers die off, leaving the root and in some cases a small stump. In spring, the flower sprout palmately divided leaves from the root. A rosette of basal leaves grows just above the ground, from May a stalk emerges. Threefold leaves grow directly on the stem, and the first flowers appear around May to June.

Globeflowers attract many different insects. Small flies and mosquitoes bite their way through the firm petals and can pollinate the flowers, but larger insects such as bees and bumblebees also fight their way into the firm flowers. Eventually they open up completely, and then wind pollination can even occur. If small flies and mosquitoes were active in the flowers, they usually also lay their eggs in the flower. The larvae then feed on the seeds of the globeflower. In most cases, however, enough seeds survive to ensure the next generation of plants. Globeflowers also sow themselves.


Globeflowers reproduce by themselves from seeds that fall out in autumn, remain dormant in the ground during winter and sprout the following spring. However, globeflowers can also be rejuvenated. To do this, the entire floor is lifted out with a spade and carefully divided in the middle. This should happen in the spring, when the flower is just emerging. Small parts are then removed with the hands and replanted. It makes sense to add some fertilizer to the new substrate. If you water it extensively now, the roots can quickly find contact with the earth. However, globe flowers should only be rejuvenated after ten years, the perennials are very long-lived.

Seeds can actually be bought all year round in specialist shops, and since globe flowers also bloom several times in summer in nature, the seeds can simply be sown. The months of March to September are particularly good. It is sown outdoors, where the globe flowers are also supposed to grow. Seeds should be kept moist from the start, and like adult plants, seedlings and seedlings like humus rich, rich soil. Loamy soils should be mixed with nutrient-rich soils to get the ideal soil.

Flowers in the immediate vicinity

Globeflowers are relatively high at up to 80 cm (this applies to the Asian globeflower, the European globeflower does not grow higher than 60 cm), and the individual stems are mostly bare. Globeflowers look particularly beautiful when contrasted with lower, lush growing plants, which ideally flower in the blue-purple color spectrum. The contrast to the yellow-orange globe flowers is quite striking. If you now consider that the globeflower needs wet, humus-rich soil and prefers to grow near water bodies, in ditches and in morass, there is not that much choice when it comes to accompanying ornamental flowers:

  • Astilbe
  • Primel
  • Swamp Forget-Me-Nots
  • Meadow Iris

The plants mentioned also occur in the natural habitat of globeflowers in their immediate vicinity. A garden in which something is blooming at any time of the year is particularly beautiful. Wood anemones (flowering from March to May), cowslips (flowering from April to June) and forget-me-nots (flowering to September) are ideal for wet, rich soils. The globe flower partially overlaps with these flowers during the flowering period, but this does not matter. Firstly, light yellow cowslips and blue forget-me-nots are more ground-covering plants and secondly, they offer an intense contrast to the darker, orange-tinged flowers of the globe flower.

pests and other problems

There is nothing that will seriously harm the globeflower. The flowers are not popular with herbivores due to their toxicity, and snails don’t actually attack them. Some fly species lay their eggs in the flowers, the larvae feed on the seeds of the globe flower. However, this happens to such a small extent that it does not damage the plant and that usually only a small part of the seeds is affected at all. Globeflowers are therefore completely unproblematic in this respect.

If you cut some stems for the vase, make sure the flowers are intact and not bearing insect bites. This is how they keep the flies out of the house. By the way, all parts of the plant are poisonous! Wash your hands thoroughly after cutting globeflowers. Contact may cause allergic reactions. If you suffer from hay fever, you should also be careful: some people react to globeflower pollen. This not only applies to the plants in the garden, but also to cut flowers in the vase.

Different types

Hybrids are usually sold in the garden trade, i.e. cultivars of the globeflower that go back to the European globeflower. In the color spectrum, the flowers range from creamy white with a yellow tinge to sunny yellow and a strong yellow-orange. But Asian and Chinese globe flowers are also occasionally available. They are a bit darker in the flower, somewhere between yellow-orange and red-orange. The flower forms can be cultivated in such a way that nectar leaves are visible between the petals and the pollen stand. They can protrude from the flower as longer, slender “threads”. The European Globeflower also has nectar leaves, but they are not as conspicuous. The same care instructions apply to the Asian Globeflower and the Chinese Globeflower as to the European Globeflower.

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