bristly buttercup

(Ranunculus hispidus)

bristly buttercup

Ranunculus hispidus, commonly known as the swamp buttercup or bristly buttercup, is a species of flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae. It is native to North America and can be found in wetland habitats, such as swamps, marshes, and streambanks.

While the plant is attractive, it can be toxic if ingested by humans or animals, as it contains a toxic compound called protoanemonin. However, the plant does have some traditional medicinal uses in Native American cultures, such as for treating colds and headaches.


The plant typically grows to be about 1-2 feet tall and has bright yellow, five-petaled flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. The leaves are green and deeply lobed, with a hairy texture that gives the plant its common name "hispidus," which means "bristly" or "hairy."

The stem is erect and can grow up to 60 cm in height. It is covered with long, stiff, and bristly hairs.

The leaves are basal and alternate. The basal leaves are long-stalked, while the stem leaves are short-stalked. The leaves are deeply lobed and have a toothed margin. They are also covered with bristly hairs.

The flowers are yellow and have five petals. They are cup-shaped and have a diameter of about 1.5 cm. The flowers are borne on long stalks and are arranged in loose clusters. There are 5 sepals, numerous stamens, and several pistils. The sepals are green, hairy, and pointed. The stamens have yellow anthers. Each pistil has a single ovary and style.


Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.

  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 (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  


Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  


Ranunculaceae (buttercup)  
  Subfamily Ranunculoideae (anemones, buttercups, larkspurs, and allies)  
  Tribe Ranunculeae  


Ranunculus (buttercups)  

Subordinate Taxa


bristly buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus var. caricetorum)

bristly buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus var. hispidus)

bristly buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus)






Common Names


bristly buttercup

hispid buttercup

rough buttercup

swamp buttercup









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Crystal Boyd

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  Crystal Boyd

Location: Black Dog Preserve

bristly buttercup  




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