Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Ranunculus acris
Common Buttercup
Ranunculaceae (Crowfoot Family)

A tall, erect, hairy, branching plant, growing to a height of 60 - 90 cm.


Common Buttercup Distinguishing Features - Leaves: lower leaves 2.5 - 10 cm wide, long-petioled, blades deeply palmately divided; upper leaves smaller, scattered. Flowers: glossy, yellow, 2.5 cm wide with 5 petals, longer than sepals; 5 sepals, spreading, greenish; numerous stamens and pistils; blooms through the summer. Fruit: in a globose cluster; dry, seed-like.


Native to northern Europe; introduced and widespread throughout North America; in moist areas, in fields, meadows and disturbed areas.


The juice from stems and leaves is acrid; it discourages browsing animals, ensuring the spread of the plant.

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