Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh
- Family: Butter-cup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: This yellow-flowered butter-cup is recognized by its achenes which have 4 vertical stripes. The cylindrical fruiting heads are about twice as long as wide.
- Habitat: Along streams, in marshes, around springs, sometimes in alkaline areas.
- Habit: Perennial herb with fibrous roots and slender stolons.
- Stems: Upright, branched or unbranched, up to 1 foot tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Basal and alternate, simple, ovate to somewhat kidney-shaped, rounded at the tip, rounded or heart-shaped at the base, smooth, shallowly toothed or shallowly 3-lobed, up to 1 3/4 inches long, up to 1 inch wide; stalks up to 3 inches long
- Flowers: 1-few at the tip of the stem, on stalks up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Sepals: 5, greenish yellow, free from each other, elliptic, up to 1/4 inch long, smooth, falling away early.
- Petals: Usually 5, yellow, free from each other, obovate, up to 1/3 inch long, up to 1/8 inch wide.
- Stamens: 10-30.
- Pistils: Very numerous in a cylindrical head, the head 1/2-3/4 inch long, 1/8-1/3 inch thick; ovaries superior.
- Fruits: Achenes very numerous in a cylindrical head, each achene oblong but tapering to the base, up to 1/8 inch long, with 4 vertical stripes, with a very short, straight beak.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by small birds.
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