Pennsylvania buttercup

(Ranunculus pensylvanicus)

Conservation Status
Pennsylvania buttercup
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Pennsylvania buttercup is a 8 to 20 tall, erect, annual or perennial forb. The roots are never tuberous.

The stems are erect, branched or unbranched, and rough with firm, stiff hairs. The base is not bulbous.

Basal leaves are broadly heart-shaped in outline, to 2¾ long, and 1¼ to 3½ wide. They are on long leaf stalks that are covered with sharp, erect hairs. The leaves are divided into 3 leaflets. The terminal leaflet is on a distinct leaflet stalk. The lateral 2 leaflets may be stalked or unstalked. The leaflets are deeply divided into 3 lobes. The lobes are deeply toothed or have secondary lobes. The ultimate segments are narrowly elliptic, pointed, and have toothed margins. Basal leaves wither or dry early.

Stem leaves are few and are all stalked. They are similar to basal leaves but smaller and on shorter leaf stalks. They get progressively smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem.

The inflorescence is a few solitary, short-stalked flowers at the end of the stem and branches.

The flowers are ¼ to wide. There are 5 sepals that bend downward, pointing to the ground, and 5 yellow, inversely egg-shaped, 1 16 to long, 1 32 to wide petals. The petals are shorter than the sepals. At the center of the flower there is a cluster of green carpels surrounded by a ring of stamens with yellow anthers.

The fruit is an achene, borne in a 3 16 to ¼ wide, elongated, cylinder-shaped cluster.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

8 to 20

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Yellow

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Kidney-leaved buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus) has mostly undivided, kidney-shaped basal leaves.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist to wet. Stream banks, bogs, moist clearings, wet meadows.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to August

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

 
  6/13/2017      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  
 

Order

Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  
 

Family

Ranunculaceae (buttercup)  
  Subfamily Ranunculoideae  
  Tribe Ranunculeae  
 

Genus

Ranunculus (buttercup)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
     
       
 

Common Names

 
 

bristly buttercup

bristly crowfoot

Pennsylvania buttercup

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Carpel

The female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an ovary, styles, and stigmas.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 
 
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Luciearl

 
    Pennsylvania buttercup      
           
 
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Plant

 
    Pennsylvania buttercup   Pennsylvania buttercup  
           
 

Stem Leaf

 
    Pennsylvania buttercup      
           

 

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  Luciearl
7/9/2021

Location: Cass County

Growing near the shoreline of Pine Song lake

Pennsylvania buttercup  
           
 
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