Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Halerpestes cymbalaria
alkali buttercup, seaside buttercup

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Great Plains, Great Lakes, and northeastern North America.

Habitat: Ditches, marshes and muddy meadowlands, often where saline or alkaline.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Usually glabrous perennial from slender, fibrous roots, the stems several, one or more of them stolonous and freely-rooting, 1-4 dm. long, the others scapose, 5-30 cm. tall.


Basal leaves with petioles 1-5 times the length of the blades, the blades cordate-lanceolate to rhombic, 1.5-3.5 cm. long and nearly as broad, 3-lobed at the tip; cauline leaves few, considerably reduced, alternate.


Flowers 1-several on the scapes, bracteate; pedicels 2-6 cm. long; sepals 5, greenish-yellow, 2-4 mm. long; petals 5, pale yellow, 5-8 mm. long; nectary scale glabrous, about 0.4 mm. long, forming a pocket, laterally attached full length; receptacle cylindric, 3-10 mm. long; stamens 15-30; pistils 50-200.


Achenes glabrous, laterally compressed, 2- to 4-nerved on each face, 1.5 mm. long; stylar beak stout, straight, 0.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Halerpestes cymbalaria (Pursh) Greene
Publication: Pittonia 4(23): 208. 1900.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh [FNA3, HC]
Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh var. alpinus Hook.
Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh var. saximontanus Fernald
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Halerpestes cymbalaria in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Halerpestes cymbalaria checklist entry

OregonFlora: Halerpestes cymbalaria information

E-Flora BC: Halerpestes cymbalaria atlas page

CalPhotos: Halerpestes cymbalaria photos

31 photographs:
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