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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

9. Ranunculaceae, the Buttercup Family

4. Ranunculus L. -- Buttercup, crowfoot

4. Ranunculus flammula L. -- Spearwort


Low, stoloniferous perennial, often appressed-hairy. Stems decumbent to prostrate, rooting at the nodes, simple to sparingly branched, the upright tips 4-15 cm tall, 1- to several-flowered. Leaves clustered at rooting nodes, reduced and shorter-petioled on upper portions of the stem; blades simple, elliptic to lanceolate or linear, 1-5 cm long, 1.5-7(20) mm wide, entire or very slightly toothed, tapered to slender petioles mostly 5-15 mm long. Sepals 5, yellowish-green, ovate, 1.5-3(5) mm long, strigose; petals 5, yellow, obovate, 3-5 mm long; stamens 25-50; receptacle obovoid, ca. 1 mm long in fruit, glabrous. Achenes 10-25 in a subglobose head 2.5-3.5 mm long, 3-4.5 mm thick; achene body turgid, obovate, 1.3-1.7 mm long, inconspicuously margined, smooth, the beak 0.2-0.6 mm long. Jun--Aug. Marshes and muddy shores; rare, with records from Burke Co., ND, Sheridan Co., MT, and Johnson Co., WY; (Circumboreal, in N.Amer. s to MA, PA, MI, MN, ND, NM, AZ and CA).

Plants of the northern Great Plains are R. flammula var. ovalis (Bigel.) Torr. & Gray.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


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