Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Ranunculus hispidus Michx.
- Family: Butter-cup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: March-May
- Field Marks: This butter-cup differs by its deeply divided leaves, its yellow petals
1/3-1/2 inch long, its spreading sepals 1/4-1/2 inch long, and the absence of stolons.
- Habitat: Rich woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a thickened base and short, thickened roots, without stolons.
- Stems: Upright, branched or unbranched, with spreading or appressed hairs, up to 1 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate and basal, the basal ones simple and unlobed to deeply 3-parted or even divided into 3 leaflets, the terminal segment stalked, with spreading or appressed hairs, borne on spreading-hairy stalks up to 8 inches long; stem leaves usually deeply 3-parted, the uppermost ones sessile or nearly so.
- Flowers: 1-6 per stem, bright yellow, up to 1 inch across, on spreading or appressed-hairy stalks up to 4 inches long.
- Sepals: 5, greenish yellow, free from each other, spreading, ovate, pointed at the tip, ovate, up to 1/3-1/2 inch long.
- Petals: 5, bright yellow, free from each other, often waxy-looking, obovate, 1/3-1/2 inch long.
- Stamens: 40 or more.
- Pistils: Several, each with a superior ovary.
- Fruits: Achenes borne in a spherical head up to 1/2 inch in diameter; achenes obovoid, flattened, up to 1/6 inch long, smooth with a prominent narrow margin, the beak straight, about 1/10 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
Previous Species -- Carolina Butter-cup (Ranunculus carolinianus)
Return to Species List -- Group 6