Mt Cook ‘lily’ Ranunculus lyallii, photographed by Andy Reisinger.

Belongs within: Ranunculaceae.

Ranunculus, the buttercups, is a cosmopolitan genus of about 300 species. The majority of species have yellow flowers (hence the vernacular name) but some have white, orange or red flowers. The genus name means ‘little frog’, and refers to the preference of many species for damp habitats; some species even grow aquatically. A number of species have become spread widely around the world, and may be considered a pest for poisoning livestock. These include the creeping buttercup R. repens, a native of the Palaearctic with strong, prostrate running stems.

Characters (from A. T. Whittemore): Herbs, annual or perennial, from tuberous roots, caudices, rhizomes, stolons, or bulbous stem bases. Leaves basal, cauline, or both, simple, variously lobed or parted, or compound, all petiolate or distal leaves sessile; cauline leaves alternate (rarely a distal pair opposite). Leaf blade reniform to linear, margins entire, crenate, or toothed. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, 2-50-flowered cymes to 25 cm or solitary flowers; bracts present or absent, small or large and leaflike, not forming involucre. Flowers bisexual, radially symmetric; sepals sometimes persistent in fruit, 3-5(-6), green or sometimes purple, yellow, or white, plane (base saccate in R. ficaria), oblong to elliptic, ovate, or lanceolate, 1-15 mm; petals 0-22(-150), distinct, yellow, rarely white, red, or green, plane, linear to orbiculate, 1-26 mm; nectary present, usually covered by scale; stamens (5-)10-many; filaments filiform; staminodes absent between stamens and pistils; pistils 4-250, simple; ovule 1 per ovary; style present or absent. Fruits achenes, rarely utricles, aggregate, sessile, discoid, lenticular, globose, obovoid, or cylindric, sides sometimes veined; beak present or absent, terminal, straight or curved, 0-4.5 mm. x = 7, 8.

<==Ranunculus Linnaeus 1753A61 [incl. BatrachiumH98, CasaleaH98]
    |--R. abortivusJ23
    |--R. acaulis Banks & Sol. ex DC. 1817 [incl. R. stenopetalus Hook. 1844, R. uniflora Colenso 1898]A61
    |--R. aconitifoliusH98
    |--R. acris Rich. 1832H93, A61
    |--R. adoneusGS99
    |--R. adoxifoliusO88
    |--R. alismifoliusH93
    |    |--R. a. var. alismifolius [incl. R. alismifolius var. hartwegii, R. alismifolius var. lemmonii]H93
    |    `--R. a. var. alismellusH93
    |--R. alpestrisH44
    |--R. amphibiusJ23
    |--R. amphitrichus Colenso 1885H90, A61
    |--R. andersoniiH93
    |--R. anemoneusH90
    |--R. aquatilusH93
    |    |--R. a. var. aquatilusH93
    |    |--R. a. var. capillaceus [incl. R. aquatilus var. harrisii]H93
    |    |--R. a. var. hispidulusH93
    |    `--R. a. var. subrigidusH93
    |--R. argoviensisH98
    |--R. arvensisBO08
    |--R. aucklandicus Gray 1854 [incl. R. hectori Kirk 1899]A61
    |--R. auricomus Linnaeus 1753H98
    |--R. × baughanii Petrie 1913 [R. sericophyllus × R. sericophyllus var. simpsonii]A61
    |--R. berggrenii Petrie 1887A61
    |--R. biternatus Smith in Rees 1814 [incl. R. crassipes Hooker 1847]A61
    |--R. bonariensisH93
    |    |--R. b. var. bonariensisH93
    |    `--R. b. var. trisepalus [incl. R. alveolatus]H93
    |--R. brotherusiiO88
    |    |--R. b. var. brotherusiiO88
    |    `--R. b. var. tanguticusO88
    |--R. buchananii Hook. f. 1864 [incl. R. buchananii var. latilobus Allan 1935]A61
    |    |--R. b. var. buchananiiA61
    |    `--R. b. var. multifidus Allan 1935A61 [=R. sceleratus var. multifidusH93]
    |--R. bulbosusC55b
    |--R. bullatusPT98
    |--R. cadmicusD30
    |--R. californicus (see below for synonymy)H93
    |--R. canus [incl. R. canus var. laetus, R. canus var. ludovicianus]H93
    |--R. carsei Petrie 1926A61
    |--R. cassubicifoliusH98
    |--R. cassubicus Linnaeus 1753H98
    |--R. celeratusJ23
    |--R. cheesemanii Kirk 1899A61
    |--R. chilensisD03
    |--R. chiusPT98
    |--R. chordorhizos Hook. f. 1867A61
    |--R. clivalis Allan 1961 [=R. geraniifolius Hook. f. 1852 non Pourr. 1788]A61
    |--R. clivicolaH90
    |--R. collinusH90
    |--R. colonorumGK00
    |--R. crithmifolius Hook. f. 1864A61
    |    |--R. c. ssp. crithmifoliusME70
    |    `--R. c. ssp. paucifoliusME70 [=R. paucicflius Kirk 1899A61]
    |--R. cymbalariaH93
    |    |--R. c. var. cymbalariaH93
    |    `--R. c. var. saximontanusH93
    |--R. depressus Kirk 1880 [incl. R. depressus var. glabratus Kirk 1899]A61
    |    |--R. d. var. depressusA61
    |    `--R. d. var. stewartiae Simpson & Thomson 1943A61
    |--R. diffususO88
    |--R. dissectifoliusH90
    |--R. enysii Kirk 1880 [incl. R. tenuis Buchanan 1888]A61
    |--R. eschscholtziiH93
    |    |--R. e. var. eschscholtziiH93
    |    |--R. e. var. oxynotusH93
    |    `--R. e. var. suksdorfiiH93
    |--R. falcatus [=Ceratocephalus falcatus]C06
    |--R. fallaxH98
    |--R. ferreriGM-C02
    |--R. flabellarisH93
    |--R. ficariaH98
    |--R. flammula [incl. R. flammula var. ovalis, R. flammula var. samolifolius]H93
    |--R. fluviatilisJ23
    |--R. foliosus Kirk 1899A61
    |--R. garganicusGR98
    |--R. glaberrimusH93
    |    |--R. g. var. glaberrimusH93
    |    `--R. g. var. ellipticusH93
    |--R. glabrifolius Hook. 1834ME70
    |--R. glacialisC55a
    |--R. godleyanus Hook. f. 1867A61
    |--R. gormaniiH93
    |--R. gracilipes Hook. f. 1864A61
    |--R. grahamii Petrie 1914A61
    |--R. graniticolaKC83
    |--R. gunnianusH90
    |--R. haastii Hook. f. 1864 [incl. R. scott-thomsonii Simpson & Thomson 1926 (n. n.)]A61
    |--R. hebecarpusH93
    |--R. hirtellusO88
    |--R. hirtus Banks & Sol. ex DC. 1817ME70 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--R. h. var. hirtusC06
    |    `--R. h. var. elongatus Cheeseman 1906C06
    |--R. huttensis Wall 1926ME70
    |--R. hybridusC55a
    |--R. hydrocharoidesH93
    |--R. hydrophilusC06
    |--R. insertus Simpson 1952A61
    |--R. insignis Hook. f. 1852 [incl. R. ruahinicus Colenso 1886, R. rufus Colenso 1896, R. sychnopetala Colenso 1893]A61
    |    |--R. i. var. insignisA61
    |    `--R. i. var. glabratus Allan 1961 non R. depressus var. glabratus Kirk 1899A61
    |--R. inundatus Br. ex DC. 1817H90, A61
    |--R. kirkii Petrie 1887A61
    |--R. kuepferiH98
    |--R. lappaceus Smith 1814 (see below for synonymy)A61
    |--R. limosella Muell. ex Kirk 1871 [incl. R. limoselloides Muell. ex Hook. f. 1867 non Turcz. 1854]A61
    |--R. linguaH98
    |--R. lobatusO88
    |--R. lobbiiH93
    |--R. lobulatus (Kirk) Ckn. 1906 [=R. insignis var. lobulatus Kirk 1899]A61
    |--R. lowiiP88
    |--R. lyallii Hook. f. 1864 (see below for synonymy)A61
    |--R. macouniiH93
    |--R. macranthusMS10
    |--R. macropus Hooker 1844 [incl. R. longipetiolatus Colenso 1893]A61
    |--R. maculatus Ckn. & Allan 1926A61
    |--R. × matthewsii Cheeseman 1906 [R. buchananii × R. lyallii]A61
    |--R. melzeriH98
    |--R. millaniiH90
    |--R. millefoliatusGR98
    |--R. monophyllusH98
    |--R. monroi Hook. f. 1855A61 [incl. R. monroi var. dentatus Kirk 1895ME70, R. monroi var. sericeus Kirk 1895ME70]
    |--R. montanusH98
    |--R. moseleyiC06
    |--R. muelleri Buchanan 1887H90, A61
    |    |--R. m. var. muelleriH90
    |    `--R. m. var. brevicaulisH90
    |--R. munroanusO88
    |--R. muricatusGK00
    |--R. niphophilusH90
    |--R. nivalisCS77
    |--R. nivicolus Hook. 1844A61
    |--R. novae-zelandiae Petrie 1887A61
    |    |--R. n. var. novae-zelandiaeA61
    |    `--R. n. var. repens Simpson & Thomson 1942 non R. repensA61
    |--R. obtusatusD03
    |--R. occidentalis (see below for synonymy)H93
    |--R. oreionannosO88
    |--R. orthorhynchusH93
    |    |--R. o. var. orthorhynchus [incl. R. orthorhynchus var. hallii, R. orthorhynchus var. platyphyllus]H93
    |    `--R. o. var. bloomeriH93
    |--R. pachycarpusH90
    |--R. pachyrrhizus Hook. f. 1864A61
    |--R. paludosusPT98
    |--R. papulentusH90
    |--R. parnassiifoliusH98
    |--R. peduncularisD03
    |--R. pegaeusO88
    |--R. penicillatusR02
    |    |--R. p. ssp. penicillatusR02
    |    `--R. p. ssp. pseudofluitansR02
    |--R. pentandrusH90
    |    |--R. p. var. pentandrusH90
    |    `--R. p. var. patycarpusH90
    |--R. petriei Allan 1961A61
    |--R. philonotisC55a
    |--R. phthoraC55a
    |--R. pimpinellifolius Hook. 1834H90, A61 [=R. lappaceus var. pimpinellifolius (Hook.) Benth. 1863A61]
    |--R. pinguis Hooker 1844 [incl. R. pinguis var. pilosus Hooker 1844, R. pinguis var. rhombifolius Hooker 1844]A61
    |--R. platanifoliusH98
    |--R. plebeius Br. ex DC. 1817H90, A61 [=R. hirtus ssp. plebeius (Br.) Kirk 1899A61]
    |--R. polyanthemosH98
    |--R. populagoH93
    |--R. porrectus Simpson 1945A61
    |--R. productusH90
    |--R. pseudopygmaeusO88
    |--R. pulchellusO88
    |    |--R. p. var. pulchellusO88
    |    |--R. p. var. potaniniiO88
    |    |--R. p. var. sericeus non R. monroi var. sericeus Kirk 1899O88
    |    `--R. p. var. stracheyanusO88
    |--R. pumilioH90
    |    |--R. p. var. pumilioH90
    |    `--R. p. var. politusH90
    |--R. pusillusH93
    |--R. pygmaeusC06
    |--R. pyrenaeusC55a
    |--R. recens Kirk 1899A61
    |    |--R. r. var. recensA61
    |    `--R. r. var. lacustris Simpson 1952A61
    |--R. recurvatusJ87
    |    |--R. r. var. recurvatusJ87
    |    `--R. r. var. tropicusJ87
    |--R. repens [incl. R. repens var. pleniflorus]H93
    |--R. reptansC55a
    |--R. reticulatus Colenso 1888 (n. d.)A61
    |--R. rivularis Banks & Sol. ex DC. 1817A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |--R. royi Simpson 1952A61
    |--R. rutaefoliusC55a
    |--R. sardous [incl. R. hirsutus]C06
    |--R. scapigerH90
    |--R. sceleratusC06
    |--R. seguieriC55a
    |--R. septentrionalisA16
    |--R. sericophyllus Hook. f. 1864A61
    |    |--R. s. var. sericophyllusA61
    |    `--R. s. var. simpsonii (Cockayne & Allan) Simpson 1942 [=R. simpsonii Cockayne & Allan 1926]A61
    |--R. sessiliflorusCA26
    |    |--R. s. var. sessiliflorusH90
    |    `--R. s. var. piluliferH90
    |--R. sinclairii Hook. f. 1864 [incl. R. sinclairii var. angustatus Kirk 1899]A61
    |--R. subscaposus Hook. f. 1844A61
    |--R. sulphureusCS77
    |--R. ternatifolius Kirk 1878 [incl. R. trilobatus Kirk 1877 non Kit. ex Schlecht. 1820]A61
    |--R. testiculatus [=Ceratocephalus testiculatus]H93
    |--R. thoraC55a
    |--R. trichophyllus Chaix ex Vill. 1786CD07 [=Batrachium trichophyllumH90]
    |    |--R. t. var. trichophyllusO88
    |    `--R. t. var. glaberO88
    |--R. tricuspisO88
    |--R. trilobusH90
    |--R. udicolaH98
    |--R. uncinatus [incl. R. uncinatus var. parviflorus]H93
    |    |--R. u. var. uncinatusC06
    |    `--R. ‘parviflorus’ var. australisC06
    |--R. undosusH90
    |--R. urvilleanus Cheeseman 1925 [=R. hirtus var. gracilis Cheeseman 1906]A61
    |--R. verticillatus Kirk 1899A61
    `--R. villarsiiC55a

Ranunculus californicus [incl. R. californicus var. austromontanus, R. californicus var. cuneatus, R. californicus var. gratus, R. californicus var. rugulosus]H93

Ranunculus hirtus Banks & Sol. ex DC. 1817ME70 [incl. R. hirtus var. membranifolius Kirk 1899A61, R. hirtus var. robustus Kirk 1899 A61, R. hirtus var. stoloniferus Kirk 1899A61]

Ranunculus lappaceus Smith 1814 [incl. R. subscaposus var. canterburiensis Armstrong 1881, R. lappaceus var. macrophyllus Kirk 1899, R. multiscapus Hooker 1852, R. lappaceus var. multiscapus Hooker 1864, R. muricatulus Colenso 1891, R. nanus Hook. 1834, R. lappaceus var. nanus (Hook.) Kirk 1878, R. lappaceus var. villosus Kirk 1899]A61

Ranunculus lyallii Hook. f. 1864 [incl. R. lyallii var. araneosa Hook. f. 1867, R. traversii Hook. f. 1864, R. lyallii var. traversii (Hook. f.) Cheeseman 1906]A61

Ranunculus occidentalis [incl. R. occidentalis var. dissectus, R. occidentalis var. eisenii, R. occidentalis var. howellii, R. occidentalis var. rattanii, R. occidentalis var. ultramontanus]H93

Ranunculus rivularis Banks & Sol. ex DC. 1817A61 [incl. R. areolatus Petrie 1891C06, R. rivularis var. glareosus Ckn. & Allan 1926A61, R. incisus Hooker 1852A61, R. inconspicuus Hooker 1855A61, R. rivularis var. inconspicuus Benth. 1863A61, R. rivularis var. major Benth. 1863A61, R. rivularis var. subfluitans Benth. 1863A61]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[BO08] Bönsel, D., I. Ottich, A. Malten & G. Zizka. 2008. An updated list of the vascular plants of Frankfurt am Main (Pteridophyta & Spermatophyta). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (1): 111–121.

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[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

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[GS99] Galen, C., & M. L. Stanton. 1999. Seedling establishment in alpine buttercups under experimental manipulations of growing-season length. Ecology 80: 2033–2044.

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