Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Ranunculus eschscholtzii
subalpine buttercup

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to Montana, Colorado and New Mexico.

Habitat: Meadow and talus slopes at mid- to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Mostly glabrous, often glaucous perennial from slender, fibrous roots, the 1-several scapose stems erect, 10-20 cm. tall.


Basal leaves petiolate, the blades reniform to broadly obovate in outline, 1-3 cm. long, from shallowly 3-lobed to 2-3 times dissected into linear segments; cauline leaves usually lacking.


Flowers 1-3 on stout pedicels 2-12 cm. long; sepals 5, spreading, 3-8 mm. long, purplish-tinged; petals 5, obovate, 7-15 mm. long and broad; nectary scale about 0.5 mm. long, forming a triangular pocket; receptacle ovoid; stamens 40-125; pistils 30-80.


Achenes smooth, 1.5-2 mm. long; stylar beak prominent, nearly straight, slender, 0.8-1.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Ranunculus eschscholtzii Schltdl.
Publication: Animadv. Bot. Ranunc. Cand. 2: 16. 1820.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. eschscholtzii – Eschscholtz buttercup    Alaska to California, east to Montana, Colorado and New Mexico
var. suksdorfii – Suksdorf buttercup, Suksdorf's buttercup
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Ranunculus eschscholtzii checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Ranunculus eschscholtzii atlas page.

CalPhotos: Ranunculus eschscholtzii photos.

USDA Plants: Ranunculus eschscholtzii information.

49 photographs:
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