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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

Ranunculaceae - The Buttercup Family


Aquatic to terrestrial herbs (in those included here). Leaves simple to palmately lobed or compound, alternate or mostly to entirely basal, usually petioled, exstipulate or stipulate. Flowers perfect, regular, hypogynous; sepals usually 5, occasionally more, herbaceous and greenish or petaloid and colored, often deciduous; petals 5 or none, seldom more than 5, usually yellow or white; stamens usually numerous; pistils several to many, simple, ripening into beaked achenes or follicles.

Lead Characteristic Go To
1 Pistils containing several ovules, maturing into follicles; leaves shallowly toothed, not divided into filaments or lobes. Genus Caltha (C. palustris)
1 Pistils containing 1 ovule, maturing into achenes; leaves all or mostly divided into lobes or filaments (except in Ranunculus cymbalaria, R. flammula, and Myosurus, which have undivided leaves. Lead 2
2 Sepals spurred at the base; achenes borne in a spikelike cluster on an elongate receptacle. Genus Myosurus
2 Sepals not spurred; achenes borne in a globose to short-cylindric cluster. Lead 3
3 Flowers white, 2-5 cm across; leaves all basal except for the leaflike involucres subtending the flowers, deeply lobed. Genus Anemone
3 Flowers yellow or white, but if white, then the flowers less than 2 cm across and the leaves finely dissected into filamentous segments; leaves cauline or basal. Genus Ranunculus


9. Ranunculaceae, the Buttercup Family
1. Anemone L.
1. Anemone canadensis L.-- Meadow anemone
2. Caltha L. -- Marsh marigold, cowslip
1. Caltha palustris L.
3. Myosurus L. -- Mouse-tail
1. Myosurus minimus L.
4. Ranunculus L. -- Buttercup, crowfoot
1. Ranunculus cardiophyllus Hook.
2. Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh -- Seaside buttercup
3. Ranunculus flabellaris Raf. -- Yellow water-crowfoot
4. Ranunculus flammula L. -- Spearwort
5. Ranunculus gmelinii DC. -- Yellow water-crowfoot
6. Ranunculus hispidus Michx. -- Marsh buttercup
7. Ranunculus longirostris Godr. -- White water-crowfoot
8. Ranunculus macounii Britt. -- Macoun's buttercup
9. Ranunculus pensylvanicus L. f. -- Bristly crowfoot
10. Ranunculus sceleratus L. -- Cursed crowfoot
11. Ranunculus subrigidus W.B. Drew -- White water-crowfoot


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