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

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Val George  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29451)

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Distribution of Ranunculus alismifolius
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Ranunculus alismifolius var. alismifolius

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

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

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


Ecological Framework for Ranunculus alismifolius

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)
Slope Gradient (%) 51 51 51
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
246 245 246
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 2
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: SBS(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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References