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

Ranunculus macounii Britton
Macoun's buttercup
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17024)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Ranunculus macounii
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Species Information

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Perennial (or annual) herb from thick and somewhat fleshy root mass; stems from nearly erect to prostrate, often rooting at nodes, 20-90 cm long, long-hairy or smooth, hollow.
Basal, persistent, heart- to kidney-shaped, 3-parted, the blades 3.5-8 cm long, 4.5-9.5 cm wide, the leaflets 3-lobed or -parted, the ultimate segments elliptic or lance-elliptic, toothed or shallowly lobed, tips pointed, the leaf stalks to 30 cm long, the stalks of lateral leaflets 3-10 mm long; stem leaves 1 or 2 and transitional to much-reduced bracts.
Inflorescence of few-flowered, terminal cymes, the flower stalks to 6 cm long; receptacle long-hairy; petals 5, distinct, yellow, 4-6 mm long, 3.5-5 mm wide, egg-shaped, nectary on upper surface, the scale about 0.5 mm long, smooth; sepals 5, spreading or bent back about 1 mm above base, soon deciduous, 4-6 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide, smooth or long-hairy; stamens 20-40; pistils 20-60.
Achenes, numerous in a globe- to egg-shaped head 7-11 mm long, 7-10 mm wide, the achenes elliptic to egg-shaped, 2.4-3 mm long, 2-2.4 mm wide, smooth, margins slightly keeled; beaks persistent, lanceolate, 1-1.2 mm long, straight or nearly so.
The smooth to nearly smooth form (var. oreganus) has been collected on occasion in BC but does not warrant formal recognition.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows, shores, ditches, streambanks, thickets and forest openings in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC except rare near the coast; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to MI, MN, NE, NM, AZ, NV and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Ranunculus macounii

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) 455 957 1987
Slope Gradient (%) 0 5 59
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
18 245 335
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 6 8
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: BG(1), BWBS(1), ESSF(5), ICH(3), IDF(7), PP(2), SBPS(1), SBS(11), SWB(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 macounii var. macounii
Ranunculus macounii var. oreganus (A. Gray) Davis

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References