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Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera

Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3–6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, generally free; stamens generally 5–many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0–1, generally ± persistent as beak, ovules 1–many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, ± utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1–many-seeded.
± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). [Whittemore & Parfitt 1997 FNANM 3:85–271] Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Ranunculaceae


Alan T. Whittemore

Annual to perennial herb, occasionally from stolons or caudices, terrestrial or aquatic; roots generally fibrous. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal, cauline, or both, alternate, generally reduced upward; petiole base flat, stipule-like or not; basal, proximal cauline petioles generally long; blades simple to dissected or compound, entire to toothed. Inflorescence: cyme, axillary or terminal, 1–few-flowered. Flower: sepals 3–5(6), generally early-deciduous, generally green to yellow or purple; petals 0–17[(150)], shiny, generally yellow, occasionally white or purple, nectaries near base, pocket-like or with flap-like scale; anthers yellow; pistils generally many. Fruit: achene, compressed or not, ± spheric, disk-like (width 3–15 × depth), or lenticular (width 1–2 × depth), beaked.
± 300 species: worldwide except lowland tropics; some ornamental. (Latin: small frog, from wet habitats)
Unabridged etymology: (Latin: diminutive of Rana, frog, from wet habitats)

Key to Ranunculus

R. pusillus Poir.
Perennial herb 8–50 cm, erect or ascending, rooting at most proximal nodes. Leaf: simple, unlobed, lower cauline 1.2–4.2 cm, 0.5–1.2 cm wide, ovate or lanceolate, base acute to truncate, margin entire or minutely dentate, tip acuminate to rounded. Inflorescence: bracts linear to lanceolate or oblanceolate. Flower: receptacle glabrous; sepals 4–5, spreading or reflexed from base, 1.5–3 mm, 1–1.5 mm wide, early-deciduous; petals 1–3, 1.5–2 mm, 0.5–1 mm wide. Fruit: body 1–1.2 mm, 0.6–0.8 mm wide, lenticular, wall thick, smooth, beak ± rudimentary, < 0.1 mm.
Ditches, streams, wet meadows, fields; < 500 m. North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, Sacramento Valley, c Sierra Nevada Foothills, Central Coast; eastern United States. Apr–Jun [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Ranunculus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

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click for enlargement Ranunculus pusillus
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2007 Jorg Fleige

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Ranunculus pusillus Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.