Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Ranunculus glaberrimus Hook.
- Family: Butter-cup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: The characteristics that distinguish this butter-cup from all others are completely smooth stems and leaves, basal leaves usually lobed and coarsely toothed and round heads of achenes 1/3-1 inch in diameter.
- Habitat: Moist woods, prairies, meadows, even in sagebursh.
- Habit: Perennial herb with fleshy roots.
- Stems: Lying flat to upright, usually unbranched, up to 6 inches long, smooth or rarely hairy.
- Leaves: Mostly all basal, simple, spherical to obovate, often lobed and coarsely toothed, up to 2 inches long, up to 1 1/4 inches wide, usually smooth, on stalks up to 3 inches long; leaves on stem fewer, alternate, narrower, usually 3-parted.
- Flowers: 1-6 at the tips of usually leafless stalks.
- Sepals: 5, green or purplish, free from each other, elliptic, 1/6-1/3 inch long, smooth or hairy.
- Petals: 5, yellow, free from each other, obovate, up to 3/4 inch long.
- Stamens: 40-80.
- Pistils: Many, free from each other on a conical receptacle, each with a superior ovary.
- Fruits: Many achenes crowded into a spherical head, the head 1/3-1 inch in diameter; each achene obovoid, up to 1/10 inch long, usually hairy, with a short, straight beak.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by birds.
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