Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Ranunculus abortivus L.
- Family: Butter-cup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: March-July
- Field Marks: This Ranunculus has all the basal leaves unlobed and undivided and some or all of the cauline leaves 3- or 5-parted, petals shorter than the sepals, and basal leaves heart-shaped at the base.
- Habitat: Moist woods, common in floodplains.
- Habit: Biennial or perennial herb with thread-like rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, branched, hollow, up to 20 inches tall, usually smooth but occasionally somewhat hairy.
- Leaves: Basal leaves all simple, unlobed and undivided although sometimes with rounded teeth, up to 2 1/2 inches long, heart-shaped at the base, smooth, on stalks up to 6 inches long; cauline leaves 3- or 5-parted, sessile or nearly so, smooth.
- Flowers: Several, up to 1/3 inch across.
- Sepals: 5, free from each other, greenish yellow, up to 1/6 inch long, smooth or with
short, stiff hairs.
- Petals: 5, free from each other, yellow, up to 1/8 inch long, shorter than the sepals.
- Stamens: 15-30.
- Pistils: Many in each flower, each with a superior ovary.
- Fruits: Achenes many in a head, the head up to 1/3 inch long, each achene obovoid, up to 1/12 inch long, with a minute beak.
- Notes: The common name used for this plant in this book is inappropriate.
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