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

Halerpestes cymbalaria Pursh
shore buttercup
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2875)

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Distribution of Halerpestes cymbalaria
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Species Information

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Perennial, stoloniferous herb from fibrous roots; stems of two types, flowering stems erect or ascending and 5-30 cm tall, one or more other stems (stolons) decumbent to prostrate, rooting at nodes, and 10-40 cm long, smooth or sparsely soft-hairy.
Basal leaves simple, undivided, oblong to heart-shaped or circular, 0.7-3.8 cm long, 0.8-3.2 cm wide, shallowly to deeply round-toothed, tips rounded, the stalks 1- to 5-times the length of blade; stem leaves alternate, few, much reduced.
Inflorescence a 1- to 5-flowered cyme; flower stalks 2-6 cm long, the bracts scale-like; receptacle smooth or stiff-hairy; petals usually 5, distinct, yellow, oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, 2-7 mm long, 1-3 mm wide, nectary on upper surface, the nectary scale smooth, 0.4 mm long; sepals 5, spreading, early deciduous, greenish-yellow, 2.5-6 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide, smooth; stamens 15-30; pistils 50-200.
Achenes, numerous in a cylindric or long, egg-shaped head 6-12 mm long, 4-5 mm wide, the achenes egg-shaped, 1-1.4 mm long, 0.8-1.2 mm wide, smooth, membranous, margins and faces strongly veined; beaks persistent, stout, 0.1-0.2 mm long, straight.
Larger plants are sometimes recognized as var. saximontanus but these extremes intergrade completely and hardly appear justified.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet saline or alkaline shorelines, tideflats, ditches, muddy clearings, marshes and meadows in the lowland, montane and steppe zones; common in S BC, less frequent northward; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NJ, IL, AR, TX and MX; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Halerpestes cymbalaria

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) 0 927 1630
Slope Gradient (%) 0 1 15
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
30 156 255
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 6 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: BG(6), BWBS(1), CWH(2), ESSF(1), IDF(33), MS(3), PP(2), SBPS(2)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References