Ranunculus acris (Tall Buttercup)
|Also known as:||Common Buttercup, Crowfoot|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist fields, edges of woods, along roads|
|Bloom season:||May - October|
|Plant height:||10 to 40 inches|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are at the end of stems that arise from the leaf axils. Individual flowers are ½ to 1 inch across with 5 broad shiny yellow petals. There are numerous yellow stamens around the greenish center. One plant has several to many flowers.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are both basal and alternating up the stem, to 4 inches long and 6 inches across, deeply divided into 3 to 5 lobes, each lobe further divided. Basal leaves are long stalked, becoming stalkless, smaller and with narrower lobes as they ascend the stem. Surfaces are softly hairy. Stems are green and variously hairy.
The center expands to a globe about ¼ inch in diameter, covered in smooth seeds.
Not counting varieties, there are about 15 yellow buttercup species present in Minnesota, only 2 or 3 of which are not native, Tall Buttercup being one. It is most easily identified by its deeply lobed leaves. It also has larger flowers and is a taller plant than most native species. A common weed, it is typical to see plants scattered here and there, but given the chance it can create sizable colonies in old fields and agricultural margins. A double-flowered cultivar was once popular in the garden trade.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Tall Buttercup plant
- more plants
- an infestation of Tall Buttercup, with a few Oxeye Daisy
- double-flowered cultivar
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin and Douglas counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?