Ranunculus rhomboideus (Prairie Buttercup)
|Also known as:||Labrador Buttercup|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry sandy prairies, open woods|
|Bloom season:||April - May|
|Plant height:||2 to 10 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.
Single flower at the end of a hairy stalk that arises from a leaf axil. Flowers are 1/3 to ½ inch across, with 5 to 8 (usually 5) yellow petals, 5 yellowish sepals shorter than the petals, and numerous yellow stamens surrounding a bulbous green center. Most plants have from 3 to 12 flowers.
Leaves and stem:
There are also a few basal leaves on slender stalks up to 2 inches long. Basal leaves are up to 1½ inches long, ¾ inch wide, have rounded teeth except near the base, and vary in shape from egg-shaped to oval to rhombic to lobed in 3 parts. Leaves and stems are typically covered with long soft hairs.
Prairie Buttercup may only be 2 or 3 inches tall when it starts flowering, but the stems can eventually elongate to about 10 inches. The flowers aren't very distinctive for a buttercup, but the leaves and (typically) open prairie habitat make this species easy to identify in the field. It is also among the first prairie plants to bloom in the spring.
Please visit our sponsors
Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration and Landscaping Services ↓
- early season Prairie Buttercup
- Prairie Buttercup plant
- mature Prairie Buttercup plant
- a pollinator
- leaf and stem hairs
- garden-grown Prairie Buttercup
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Helen Allison SNA and in a private garden in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?