E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Ranunculus alismifolius Geyer ex Benth. var. alismifolius
water-plantain buttercup (plantainleaf buttercup)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20440)

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Distribution of Ranunculus alismifolius var. alismifolius
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from fibrous or slightly tuberous roots; stems one to several, erect to ascending, branched in inflorescence, 15-60 cm tall, soft-hairy or smooth, somewhat hollow.
Basal and stem leaves lanceolate or narrowly egg-shaped, the blades 2-14 cm long, 0.7-3 cm wide, entire or slightly toothed, bases abruptly narrowed or rounded, tips pointed to blunt, the stalks stout, as long or longer than blades; stem leaves with shorter stalks, alternate; reduced to unstalked bracts above, sometimes opposite.
Inflorescence few- to several-flowered cymes; flower stalks lengthening in fruit, to 15 cm long; receptacle smooth; petals 5 (to 12), distinct, yellow, 5-14 mm long, 2-8 mm wide, nectary on upper surface, the nectary scale smooth, broadly egg-shaped; sepals 5, spreading or bent back from base, 2-6 mm long, 1-4 mm wide, somewhat hairy; stamens 25-90; pistils 10-60.
Achenes, 10 to 60 in an egg- to globe-shaped head 3-7 mm long, 4-8 mm wide, the achenes plump, 1.6-2.8 mm long, 1.2-2 mm wide, smooth or rarely stiff-hairy; beaks lanceolate to awl-shaped, straight or somewhat curved, 0.4-1.2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet ponds and shorelines to moist meadows in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known only from Victoria and Ballenas Island; S to ID, MT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Ranunculus alismifolius var. hartwegii (Greene) Jeps.
Ranunculus alismifolius var. lemmonii (A. Gray) L.D. Benson
Ranunculus alismifolius var. typicus L.D. Benson
Ranunculus hartwegii Greene
Ranunculus lemmonii A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References