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Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

Creeping buttercup Synonyms: Ranunculus repens L. var. degeneratus, Ranunculus repens L. var. erectus, Ranunculus repens L. var. glabratus, Ranunculus repens L. var. linearilobus, Ranunculus repens L. var. pleniflorus, Ranunculus repens L. var. typicus, Ranunculus repens L. var. villosus

Description: The plant is moderately toxic and was once used medicinally as an analgesic and rubefacient.

Habit: Low growing, stoloniferous, grows 0.3 m (1 ft) by 1 m (3 ft 3 in) at a fast rate.

Leaves: Basal, dark green in color, pale patches, divided into three toothed leaflets, somewhat hairy, shallowly to deeply lobed.

Stems: Prostrate running stems; 0.3 m (1 ft) by 1 m (3 ft 3 in); finely hairy.

Flowers: Bright yellow, 5-10 petals, glossy, hermaphrodite, 2-3 cm in diameter.

Fruit and seeds: Cluster of achenes 2.5-4 mm long, produces 20-150 seeds, viable for 20 years and up to 80 if not disturbed.

Habitat: Native to Europe. Prefers moist conditions; found in pastures, farmlands, natural wetlands, city gardens, lawns, woodland trails.

Reproduction: By seed and vegetatively by long branching stolons that root at the nodes.

Similar species: Virginia springbeauty (Claytonia virginica) and other species of Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.).

Monitoring and rapid response: Dig out with a sharp trowel removing al the runners and roots (Fall to Spring); systemic herbicides like glyphosate.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the King County Noxious Weed Control Program and the USDA PLANTS Database.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( 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 (

Common Name:

Creeping buttercup

Scientific Name:

Ranunculus repens







USDA Symbol: