Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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RANUNCULACEAE

BUTTERCUP FAMILY

Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes aquatic
Leaves generally basal and cauline, generally alternate, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, sometimes sheathing or stipule-like
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, free, early deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, free; stamens generally 10–many; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 1, generally ± persistent in fruit as beak, ovules 1–many
Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, or utricle-like, 1–many-seeded
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially n temp, tropical mtns; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Erianthis, Helleborus ), some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus )
Reference: [Duncan & Keener 1991 Phytologia 70:24–27]

RANUNCULUS

BUTTERCUP

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes from stolons or caudices, terrestrial or aquatic; roots generally fibrous
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves basal and generally cauline, generally reduced upwards, generally glabrous; petiole base flat, stipule-like or not; basal and lower cauline petioles generally long; blades simple to dissected or compound, entire to toothed
Inflorescence: cyme, axillary or terminal, 1–few-flowered
Flower radial; sepals generally 5, generally early deciduous, generally glabrous, generally green to yellowish; petals generally 5, generally > sepals, generally white to yellow, shiny; nectar gland near petal base, pocket-like or with flap-like scale; anthers yellow; pistils generally many
Fruit: achene, generally compressed, beaked, generally glabrous; walls thick
Species in genus: ± 250 species: temp worldwide, tropical mtns; some ornamental
Etymology: (Latin: (Pliny) little frog, from generally wet habitats)

Native

R. orthorhynchus Hook.

Perennial 15–50(85) cm; roots ± thick, tapered
Stem ascending to erect, branched throughout, glabrous to hairy
Leaves glabrous to hairy; basal and lower cauline petioles 6–20 (25) cm, blades 3.5–10 cm, ovate to cordate, generally 1-ternate or -pinnate, leaflets 3–7, coarsely toothed; upper cauline leaves smaller
Flower: receptacle hairs short, stiff; sepals 6–10 mm, reflexed, hairs 0 to short, soft; petals 5–8, 10–20 mm, 4–7 mm wide
Fruits 4–many; cluster spheric; body 2–4 mm, sides 2–3 mm wide, smooth; keel weak; beak 2–4 mm, ± straight
Chromosomes: n=16
Ecology: Meadows, wet, open areas, scrub, woodland, or forest
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (except s San Joaquin Valley, South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California), Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Montana, Wyoming
Other vars. in AK, B.C.

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