Page author: David Giblin
Ranunculus acris
meadow buttercup

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; widely distributed in the northern half of North America.

Habitat: Moist to well-drained soil at low to moderate elevations.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial from slender, fibrous roots with stiff, spreading hairs throughout, the 1-several stems freely branched, hollow, erect, 3-8 dm. tall.


Basal leaves long-petiolate, the blades broadly cordate, 3-8 cm. long, deeply 3-lobed, again deeply lobed 2-3 times, the lobes incised into pointed segments; cauline leaves similar, alternate, transitional to the 3- to 5-lobed bracts.


Peduncles few-flowered, ascending; sepals 5, greenish, spreading, soft-hairy, 4-6 mm. long, early-deciduous, the tips sharply reflexed; petals 5, yellow, 10-14 mm. long and half as broad; nectary scale glabrous, obcordate, 1 mm. long, the lateral margins free 2/3 their length; receptacle ellipsoid, up to 3.5 mm. long; stamens 30-70; pistils 15-40.


Achenes obovate, 2.5 mm. long, glabrous, smooth, keeled, the stylar beak 0.6 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Ranunculus acris L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 554. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Ranunculus acris L. var. latisectus Beck
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Ranunculus acris in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Ranunculus acris checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Ranunculus acris atlas page.

CalPhotos: Ranunculus acris photos.

USDA Plants: Ranunculus acris information.

37 photographs:
Group by