Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Ranunculus muricatus
spiny-fruit buttercup

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to California, east across North America in scattered locations.

Habitat: Ditches and other moist places, often on cultivated land.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual, Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Mostly glabrous annual from stout, fibrous roots, the 1-several stems simple below and forked above, 1-4.5 dm. tall, often hollow.


Basal leaves long-petiolate, the blades reniform to cordate, 1.5-6 cm. long and broad, shallowly divided into 3 lobed segments; cauline leaves similar, short-petiolate.


Pedicels single-flowered, stout, often recurved, 1-6 cm. long; sepals 5, membranous, spreading to reflexed, 4-7 mm. long; petals 5, yellow, narrowly obovate, 5-8 mm. long; nectary scale oval, about half as broad as the basal portion of the petal, the lateral margins attach half their length; receptacle sub-globose; stamens about 10; pistils usually 5.


Achenes strongly flattened, the faces with short spines; stylar beak stout, flattened, curved, about 2.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Ranunculus muricatus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 555. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Ranunculus muricatus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Ranunculus muricatus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Ranunculus muricatus information.

E-Flora BC: Ranunculus muricatus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Ranunculus muricatus photos.

USDA Plants: Ranunculus muricatus information.

10 photographs:
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