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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

9. Ranunculaceae, the Buttercup Family

4. Ranunculus L. -- Buttercup, crowfoot

3. Ranunculus flabellaris Raf. -- Yellow water-crowfoot

Amphibious perennial, usually submersed but occasionally stranded on mud, glabrous or rarely pubescent (when emersed). Stems floating or, when stranded, erect from a decumbent base, rooting at the lower nodes, branching, 3-7 dm long. Leaves all cauline; blades finely triternately dissected, the divisions narrow and flat, 1-2 mm or less wide, not as finely dissected on emersed plants, semicircular to reniform in outline, 1.5-10 cm long, 2-12 cm wide; petioles composed of the stipular leaf bases on upper leaves, 3-8 mm long, often extending beyond the stipular base and much longer on lower leaves. Flowers 1-several terminating each stem, bright yellow; sepals 5, greenish-yellow, spreading, 5-8 mm long, early deciduous; petals 5-8, yellow, 7-15 mm long; stamens 50-80; receptacle 2-3 mm long in flower, 5-7 mm long in fruit, pubescent. Achenes 50-75 in a globose to ovoid head 7-10 mm long, 5-8 mm thick; achene body obovate, 1.5-2 mm long, the margin thickened and corky below the middle; beak broad and flat, 1-1.5 mm long. Late May--Jul, occasionally in Aug and Sep. Fresh water or mud of ditches, slow streams, marshes and ponds; frequent in e ND, SD and NE, less common c and w parts; (ME to B.C., s to NJ, VA, OH, IN, IL, LA, UT, NV and CA).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Species -- Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh -- Seaside buttercup
Return to Family -- Ranunculaceae - The Buttercup Family
Next Species -- Ranunculus flammula L. -- Spearwort

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