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

Ranunculus grayi Britton
arctic buttercup
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Ranunculus grayi
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from short, thickened stem base with slender, fibrous roots; stems erect or ascending to decumbent, 3-15 cm tall, smooth below, minutely-hairy above, not hollow.
Basal persistent, heart- or kidney-shaped, deeply to shallowly 3-parted, the blades 0.5-2 cm long, 0.8-3 cm wide, the segments 3- to 5-lobed, bases blunt or heart-shaped, tips pointed, the stalks long, slender; stem leaves similar to basal, short-stalked.
Inflorescence of 1- to 3-flowered, terminal cymes, on hairy stalks to 6 cm long; receptacle smooth or hairy; petals 5, distinct, yellow, 3-6 mm long, 1-5 mm wide, egg-shaped, nectary on upper surface, the nectary scale smooth, almost 0.5 mm long; sepals 5, early deciduous, spreading or bent back, 3-5 mm long, 1-4 mm wide, usually hairy; stamens 20-50; pistils 20-80.
Grouped in a cylindric to egg-shaped head 4-13 mm long, 4-6 mm wide, the achenes egg-shaped, 1-2.5 mm long, 0.8-2 mm wide, smooth; beaks persistent, awl-shaped, curved or hooked, 0.4-0.8 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows, gravelly seepage sites, scree and talus slopes in the alpine zone; infrequent, scattered from NW to SE BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to SW AB and S to CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Ranunculus grayi

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1500 2020 2390
Slope Gradient (%) 0 29 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 22 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), BAFA(2), ESSF(1), IMA(1)


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 gelidus Kar. & Kir.
Ranunculus verecundus B.L. Rob. ex Piper

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References