Common Names in English:
Greater Creeping Spearwort, Lesser Spearwort, Spearwort, Spearwort Buttercup
, sometimes subshrubs
or herbaceous or woody vines
. Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, rarely opposite or whorled
or variously compound
, palmately nerved, rarely penninerved
, with or without stipules. Inflorescence a simple or compound monochasium, dichasium, simple or compound raceme, or flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual
, sometimes unisexual
, rarely zygomorphic, hypogynous. Sepals 3--6 or more, free
, imbricate or sometimes valvate
in bud. Petals present or absent, 2--8 or more, free, usually with nectaries. Stamens numerous
, rarely few, free; filaments
, or extrorse
; sometimes some sterile
stamens becoming staminodes. Carpels numerous or few, rarely 1, free, rarely connate
to various degrees
; ovary with 1 to many ovules. Fruit follicles or achenes, rarely capsules or berries
. Seeds small, with abundant endosperm and minute embryo.
About 60 genera and 2500 species: worldwide, but richly represented in N temperate regions , particularly in E Asia; 38 genera (four endemic) and 921 species (604 endemic) in China.
, from tuberous
, caudices, rhizomes, stolons, or bulbous stem bases
. Leaves basal, cauline, or both, simple
, variously lobed
, or compound
, all petiolate
or distal leaves sessile; cauline leaves alternate (rarely a distal pair opposite in Ranunculus sect. Flammula ) . Leaf blade
, or toothed
. Inflorescences terminal
, 2-50-flowered cymes to 25 cm or solitary flowers; bracts present or absent, small or large and leaflike, not forming involucre. Flowers bisexual
, radially symmetric
; sepals sometimes persistent
in fruit, 3-5(-6), green or sometimes purple, yellow, or white, plane
(base saccate in R . ficaria ), oblong
, or lanceolate, 1-15 mm; petals 0-22(-150), distinct
, yellow, rarely white, red, or green, plane, linear to orbiculate, 1-26 mm; nectary
present, usually covered by scale; stamens (5-) 10-many; filaments
; staminodes absent between stamens and pistils; pistils 4-250, simple; ovule 1 per ovary; style present or absent. Fruits achenes, rarely utricles, aggregate, sessile, discoid
, or cylindric
, sides sometimes veined; beak
present or absent, terminal, straight or curved
, 0-4.5 mm.
= 7, 8.
Species about 300: worldwide except lowland tropics.
Most Ranunculus species are poisonous to stock; when abundant, they may be troublesome to ranchers. A few species with acrid juice were formerly used as vesicatories. The genus is badly in need of biosystematic work. Apomixis and interspecific hybridization occur in several Old World groups of buttercups; some of the taxonomic complexity of the New World species probably results from these processes.
Considerable disagreement exists among authors on the proper generic and infrageneric classification of Ranunculus . Most of the subgenera accepted here have been treated as separate genera at one time or another. All recent studies have been based on local or continental floras , however, and classifications proposed for one region may not work for the plants of other regions. Like most North American workers, I have followed the generic and infrageneric classification of L. D. Benson (1948), who gave by far the most thorough and best documented study of the problem. The genus and its subdivisions should be studied on a worldwide basis.
Species Ranunculus flammula
, usually rooting
not thickened basally, glabrous. Proximal
lanceolate to oblanceolate
, 0.7-6.5 ×
0.04-1 cm, base
acute to filiform, margins
entire or serrulate
acute to filiform. Inflorescences: bracts lanceolate to oblanceolate.
Flowers: receptacle glabrous; sepals 5, spreading
or weakly reflexed
1.5-4 × 1-2 mm, glabrous or appressed-hispid; petals 5-6, 2.5-7
× 1-4 mm; nectary
of achenes globose
, 2-4 × 3-4 mm; achenes 1.2-1.6 × 1-1.4
mm, glabrous; beak
lanceolate to linear
, straight or curved
In Eurasia , this taxon is usually treated as two closely related species. Ranunculus flammula in the strict sense has relatively stout (0.8-3 mm thick) stems that are erect or ascending from prostrate bases, lanceolate to oblanceolate leaves 3-10 mm broad, sepals 3-4 mm, and petals 5-7 × 3-4 mm. Ranunculus reptans has slender (0.2-1 mm thick) stems that are usually prostrate except for the pedicels, leaves linear or filiform, to 2 mm broad, sepals 1-2 mm, and petals 3-5 × 1-2.5 mm. In North America, this distinction holds up relatively well east of the Great Plains , where plants with the characteristics of R. flammula in the strict sense are found in eastern Canada (Newfoundland and northern Nova Scotia) while plants with the characteristics of R. reptans are widespread. In the western part of the continent, however, the situation is much less clear. Collections from the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains resemble R. reptans in most characters, but they often have broader leaves (up to 5 mm broad). Plants from farther west are very confusing; specimens showing the typical morphology of R. flammula in the strict sense and R. reptans are found over a wide area, but most specimens from this area combine the characteristics of the two taxa in various ways. For this reason, it is not possible to separate these taxa at the species level. Three varieties are usually recognized, but further study will probably alter the varietal classification (see comments below, under R. flammula var. ovalis ). [source]
Flowers: Gold, yellow-orange, yellow flowers in spring through summer. • Bloom Period: April, May, June. • Flower Color: gold, yellow, yellow-orange
Growth Rate: Moderate. • Size: 6-36" tall.
Landscape Uses: Natural and lined garden ponds . Non-invasive.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 2,647 meters (0 to 8,684 feet).
Culture: Space 12-15" apart.
Soil: Regular garden soil. • Minimum pH: 6.1 • Maximum pH: 7.8
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full sun a minimum of 4 hours per day.
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b. (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Dumortier, 1829
- Family: Ranunculaceae () - Adans., 1763, nom. cons. - boutons d'or, buttercups
- Order: Ranunculales () - Dumortier, 1829
- Superorder: Ranunculanae () - Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Subclass: Ranunculidae () - Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 17-Oct-2001
Members of the genus Ranunculus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 202 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:
R. abortivus (Early Woodbuttercup) · R. abortivus var. abortivus (Littleleaf Buttercup) · R. acer (Cmmon Buttercup) · R. aconitifolius 'Flore Pleno' (Fair Maids of France) · R. acriformis (Sharpleaf Buttercup) · R. acriformis var. acriformis (Sharpleaf Buttercup) · R. acriformis var. montanensis (Mountain Sharp Buttercup) · R. acris (Common Buttercup) · R. acris var. acris (Meadow Buttercup) · R. acris var. b (Meadow Buttercup) · R. acris var. frigidus (Meadow Buttercup) · R. adoneus (Alpine Buttercup) · R. adoneus var. adoneus (Alpine Buttercup) · R. adoneus var. alpinus (Alpine Buttercup) · R. aestivalis (Autumn Buttercup) · R. alismaefolius alismaefolius (Water-Plantain Buttercup) · R. alismifolius (Dwarf Buttercup) · R. alismifolius var. alismellus (Plantainleaf Buttercup) · R. alismifolius var. alismifolius (Plantainleaf Buttercup) · R. alismifolius var. davisii (Davis' Buttercup) · R. alismifolius var. montanus (Waterplantain Buttercup) · R. allegheniensis (Allegheny Mountain Buttercup) · R. allenii (Allen Buttercup) · R. ambigens (Waterplantain Spearwort) · R. andersonii (Anderson's Buttercup) · R. andersonii var. andersonii (Anderson's Buttercup) · R. andersonii var. tenellus (Anderson's Buttercup) · R. aquatilis (Water Buttercup) · R. aquatilis var. aquatilis (White Water-Crowfoot) · R. arizonicus (Arizona Buttercup) · R. arvensis (Corn Buttercup) · R. asiaticus (Persian Buttercup) · R. auricomus (Goldilocks) · R. auricomus var. auricomus (Greenland Buttercup) · R. auricomus var. glabratus (Greenland Buttercup) · R. austrooreganus (Southern Oregon Buttercup) · R. baudotii (Brackish Water-Crowfoot) · R. bonariensis (Carter's Buttercup) · R. bonariensis var. trisepalus (Carter's Buttercup) · R. bulbosus (Blister Flower) · R. bulbosus bulbosus (St. Anthony's Turnip) · R. calandrinioides (High Alpine Buttercup) · R. californicus (California Buttercup) · R. californicus var. californicus (California Buttercup) · R. canus (Sacramento Valley Buttercup) · R. canus var. canus (Sacramento Valley Buttercup) · R. cardiophyllus (Heart-Leaf Buttercup) · R. coloradensis (Colorado Buttercup) · R. cordiger (Wingleaf Buttercup) · R. cortusifolius (Ranunculus Cortusifolius) · R. cymbalaria (Alkali Buttercup) · R. cymbalaria var. cymbalaria (Alkali Buttercup) · R. eastwoodianus (Eastwood's Buttercup) · R. eschscholtzii (Eschscholtz's Buttercup) · R. eschscholtzii var. eschscholitzii (Eschscholtz's Buttercup) · R. eschscholtzii var. hultenianus (Hulten's Buttercup) · R. eschscholtzii var. oxynotus (Eschscholtz's Buttercup) · R. eschscholtzii var. trisectus (Threesection Buttercup) · R. eximius (Tundra Buttercup) · R. fascicularis (Early Buttercup) · R. ficaria (Celandine) · R. ficaria ficaria var. ficaria (Lesser Celandine) · R. ficaria var. aurantiacus (Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria var. bulbifera (Fig Buttercup) · R. ficaria var. ficaria (Fig Buttercup) · R. ficaria 'Brambling' (Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria 'Brazen Hussy' (Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria 'Coppernob' (Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria 'Double Mud' (Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria 'Flore Pleno' (Double Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria 'Ragamuffin' (Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria 'Salmon's White' (Salmon's White Lesser Celendine) · R. ficaria 'Tortoiseshell' (Lesser Celendine) · R. flabellaris (Greater Yellow Water Buttercup) · R. flammula (Greater Creeping Spearwort) · R. flammula var. angustifolius (Greater Creeping Spearwort) · R. flammula var. filiformis (Greater Creeping Spearwort) · R. flammula var. flammula (Greater Creeping Spearwort) · R. flammula var. varians (Lesser Spearwort) · R. fluitans (River Water-Crowfoot) · R. glaberrimus (Sagebrush Buttercup) · R. glaberrimus var. ellipticus (Elliptical Buttercup) · R. glaberrimus var. glaberrimus (Sagebrush Buttercup) · R. glacialis (Glacier Buttercup) · R. glacialis chamissonis var. chamissonis (Glacier Buttercup) · R. glacialis var. chamissonis (Glacier Buttercup) · R. glacialis var. chamissonus (Glacier Buttercup) · R. glacialis var. glacialis (Glacier Buttercup) · R. gmelini (Lesser Yellow Water Buttercup) · R. gmelinii (Buttercup) · R. gmelinii var. gmelinii (Gmelin's Buttercup) · R. gmelini gmelini (Lesser Yellow Water Buttercup) · R. gormanii (Gorman's Buttercup) · R. harveyi (Harvey Buttercup) · R. hawaiensis (Buttercup) · R. hebecarpus (Delicate Buttercup) · R. hederaceus (Ivy Buttercup) · R. heimburgerae (Heimburger's Buttercup) · R. hexasepalus (Queen Charlotte Island Buttercup) · R. hispidus (Bristly Buttercup)
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- Mean = 141.660 meters (464.764 feet), Standard Deviation = 196.310 based on 20,000 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]