Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Ranunculus pensylvanicus L. f.
- Family: Butter-cup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: July-August
- Field Marks: The yellow petals of this species are a little shorter than the sepals. The flattened achenes are borne in a cylindrical head. The terminal lobe of each leaf is stalked.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, marshes, roadside ditches.
- Habit: Perennial herb with thickened roots.
- Stems: Upright, branched, up to 2 feet tall, with spreading hairs.
- Leaves: Basal and alternate, deeply 3-lobed, the terminal lobe stalked, with all the lobes coarsely toothed, hairy.
- Flowers: Few near the tips of the stems, borne on short, hairy stalks.
- Sepals: 5, green, free from each other, up to 1/6 inch long.
- Petals: 5, yellow, free from each other, mostly about 1/8 inch long, never as long as the sepals.
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Several crowded together, each with a superior ovary.
- Fruits: Several achenes crowded into a cylindrical head up to 3/4 inch long; each achene flattened, nearly spherical, up to 1/8 inch long, with a flat, pointed, straight or curved beak.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by birds.
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