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Vascular Plants of California
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Ranunculus californicus var. californicus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RanunculaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). Toxicity: some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). Note: Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: RanunculusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BUTTERCUP
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 300 species: worldwide except lowland tropics; some ornamental. Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of Rana, frog, from wet habitats)
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan T. Whittemore
Species: Ranunculus californicusView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb (11)18--70 cm, not rooting at nodes. Leaf: basal, proximal cauline widely ovate or cordate, 3-lobed or -parted to 1-ternate; distal much reduced, deeply parted or compound. Flower: receptacle glabrous (bristly); sepals 5, reflexed 2--3 mm from base, 4--8 mm, 2--4 mm wide, early-deciduous; petals 9--17, (6)7--14 mm, 2--6 mm wide. Fruit: disk-like, wall thick, smooth, beak 0.2--0.8 mm, curved, lanceolate.

Ranunculus californicus Benth. var. californicus
Stem: erect to decumbent, glabrous or spreading-hairy. Leaf: 2.8--5.8 cm, 4--6 cm wide, segments undivided or 1--2 × lobed or parted, ultimate segments oblong-elliptic to lanceolate or linear, toothed or entire, tip acute to rounded-acute. Fruit: body 1.8--3.2 mm, 1.4--2.4 mm wide.
Ecology: Grassland, open woodland; Elevation: < 2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, SNF, GV, CW, SW; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia. Flowering Time: Mar--Aug
Synonyms: Ranunculus californicus var. austromontanus L.D. Benson; Ranunculus californicus var. gratus Jeps.; Ranunculus californicus var. rugulosus (Greene) L.D. Benson;
Jepson eFlora Author: Alan T. Whittemore
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Botanical illustration including Ranunculus californicus var. californicus

botanical illustration including Ranunculus californicus var. californicus


Citation for this treatment: Alan T. Whittemore 2012, Ranunculus californicus var. californicus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 12, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 12, 2018.

Ranunculus californicus var. californicus
click for enlargement
© 2016 Neal Kramer
Ranunculus californicus var. californicus
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Ranunculus californicus var. californicus
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Ranunculus californicus var. californicus
click for enlargement
© 2015 Barry Breckling
Ranunculus californicus var. californicus
click for enlargement
© 2015 Barry Breckling
Ranunculus californicus var. californicus
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson

More photos of Ranunculus californicus var. californicus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Ranunculus californicus var. californicus:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.