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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

5. Ranunculus gmelinii DC. -- Yellow water-crowfoot

Similar in habit to R. flabellaris but usually emersed, glabrous to hirsute. Stems usually procumbent and rooting at the nodes, floating when submersed, sparsely branched, 1-5 dm long. Leaves all cauline or a few long-petioled basal leaves present, the upper leaves commonly floating on submersed plants; blades deeply 3-lobed or dissected, the divisions forked 2-3 times or sometimes dissected into flat segments when submersed, but not triternately dissected, pentagonal in outline, usually 0.8-2 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm wide, or submersed leaves often larger, to 6-9 cm across; petioles mostly 1-4 cm long, the stipular bases 3-6 mm long. Flowers usually 1-several terminating each stem, seldom more, yellow; sepals 5, greenish-yellow, spreading, 2.5-6 mm long, deciduous with or before the petals; petals 5-8, rarely more, entire or sometimes lobed, 4-8 mm long; stamens 20-40; receptacle 1-2 mm long in flower, 3-6 mm long in fruit, short-pubescent. Achenes 50-70 in a globose to ovoid head 7-10 mm long, 5-8 mm thick; achene body obovate, 1-1.5 mm long, the margin rounded or inconspicuously keeled, not corky-thickened although the basal and ventral portions of the pericarp callous-thickened, the beak broad and thin, (0.4)0.6-0.8 mm long, slightly recurved. Late May--Jul, occasionally in Aug and Sep. Occurring in the same habitats as R. flabellaris, but more often where water is temporary; occasional in n, c and e ND, also Douglas Co., NE; (Boreal in N.Amer. and Asia, in N.Amer. s to ME, MI, IA, ND, CO, NV and OR).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Species -- Ranunculus flammula L. -- Spearwort
Return to Family -- Ranunculaceae - The Buttercup Family
Next Species -- Ranunculus hispidus Michx. -- Marsh buttercup

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