Ranunculus aquatilis (White Water Crowfoot)
|Also known as:||Long-beak Buttercup|
|Habitat:||sun; slow streams, ponds, lakes, wet ditches, marshes|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||1 to 6 inches above water|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: none NCNE: none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A single flower on a long naked stalk arising from a leaf axil. Flowers are 1/3 to 2/3 inch across, have 5 oval white petals with a spot of yellow at the base, and many yellow stamens surrounding a yellow center that matures to green. 5 rounded green sepals behind the flower are much shorter than the petals.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are finely divided into many thread-like segments, round to fan-shaped in outline, to ¾ inch long and about 1 inch wide, alternately attached. Stems and leaves are all submersed and mostly hairless.
The flower center expands to a round to oval seed head, the seeds smooth to roughly hairy and with a beak almost as long as the seed body.
There are 2 varieties of Ranunculus aquatilis in North America; var. aquatilis is a more western species and var. diffusus is found in Minnesota as well as much of the US. This aquatic species also commonly goes by Latin name Ranunculus longirostris.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka and Isanti counties, MN, and in North Dakota.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?