Tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

Tall buttercup Common Names: Meadow buttercup

Description: Contains a bitter, irritating oil called protoanemonin that is toxic. Causes irritation or blistering of the skin.

Habit: Erect; perennial; 10-40 in tall; hairy forb.

Leaves: Basal and stem leaves much the same shape, mostly found below the middle of the stem, kidney-shaped, deeply 3 lobed then cut or toothed.

Stems: Erect; hollow; sometimes hairy; highly branched in the upper part of the plant; grows to 90 cm tall.

Flowers: Bright yellow, 5-parted, 2/3-1 1/4 in wide, normally 5 sepals, shiny petals broadly obovate and twice as long as the sepals; blooms May through October.

Fruit and seeds: Clustered, prickly, can attach to hair and clothing, tiny, black in color, produces 250 seeds, viable for 2-4 years.

Habitat: Native to Europe. Found in moist, disturbed sites.

Reproduction: By seed.

Similar species: Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens); St. Anthony's turnip/Bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus); Littleleaf buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus).

Monitoring and rapid response: Pastures should be ploughed and reseeded. Close mowing prior to flowering, hand-pulling (be sure to wear gloves due to toxicity). Herbicides can be effective.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Alberta Invasive Plants Council, the Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium and the USDA PLANTS Database.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the Bugwood.org network (http://www.invasive.org).Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (http://images.google.com).

Common Name:

Tall buttercup

Scientific Name:

Ranunculus acris







USDA Symbol: