Ranunculus pensylvanicus (Bristly Buttercup) - photos and description







Sepals reflexed.

Sepals reflexed.

Seed head oblong.

Lower stem leaf in above photo.

Upper stem leaf in above photo.

Stems bristly hairy

General: Erect, bristly hairy plants, usually single-stemmed. Annual or short-lived perennial.

Flowers: Flowers few, bright yellow, we measured flowers at 6 mm diameter, and petals at 2 mm long. Sepals reflexed, we measured sepals 3 mm long. Fruiting head cylindrical-oblong. July-August.

Leaves: Basal leaves withering early. Cauline leaves ternate, each lobe 3-parted, alternate. Lower leaves with long stalks. Upper stem leaf highlighted in photo above was measured at 5 cm long by 7 cm wide. Lower stem leaf highlighted in photo above was 8.5 cm long by 10.5 cm wide. Top of leaves sparingly hairy with long hairs, bottom of leaves hispid.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, I measured plants to 85 cm tall.

Habitat: Wet ground in the parklands and boreal forest.

Abundance: Listed as common in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan, however has been uncommon in my experience, has been hard to find to photograph.

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species: Hairy, leaves ternate, petals 2-3 mm, seed head oblong (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants).

Similar species: This plant might be mistaken with R. macounii, found in similar habitat, also bristly hairy, and also has three-parted leaves.

- The flowers of R. pensylvanicus are 6-8 mm diameter (petals 2 mm long), with the petals shorter than the sepals, seed head oblong; the flowers of R. macounii about 15 mm diameter (petals 4-7 mm long), with the petals longer than the sepals, seed head round.

When and where photographed: Photos taken July 23rd, edge of trail through wet ground in mixed moist woods, Pasquia Provincial forest, 425 km northeast of our home in Regina, SK.