Ranunculus flabellaris (Yellow Water Buttercup)
|Also known as:||Large Yellow Water Crowfoot|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; shallow, calm water, muddy ditches|
|Bloom season:||April - June|
|Plant height:||6 to 18 inches above water|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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One to a few flowers on a stout, usually naked stem rising out of the water. Flowers are ½ to 1 inch across with 5 (occasionally more) shiny yellow petals, numerous orange to yellow stamens around a green center, and 5 spreading yellowish green sepals that are shorter than the petals.
Leaves and stem:
Most of the plant is submerged, except when stranded in mud. Leaves are greatly variable but mostly semi-circular to kidney shaped in outline, ½ to 4 inches long and wide, simple, divided into many narrow segments and can appear to be compound.
The center expands to an oval seed head about 1/3 inch long. Seeds are smooth and have a straight beak.
A similar aquatic species is Small Yellow Water Crowfoot (Ranunculus gmelinii), which has smaller flowers (less than ½ inch), and smaller leaves that are typically wider than long and less finely divided.
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- a colony of plants
- more flowers
- specimen of submerged leaves
- more leaf variations
- plant stranded in the mud, with Water Plantain
- leaves of stranded plant
Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken along a backwater of the Mississippi River in Aitkin County, in Kittson County, and in North Dakota.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?