Pennsylvania buttercup

(Ranunculus pensylvanicus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Pennsylvania buttercup

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

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

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

Flowering

July to August

     
Flower Color

Yellow

     
Height

8 to 20

     

Identification

This 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.

 
Similar
Species

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


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Ranunculaceae (buttercup)

 

Subfamily:

Ranunculoideae

 

Tribe:

Ranunculeae

 
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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