Ranunculus glaberrimus Hook.
sagebrush buttercup
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Paul Handford     (Photo ID #65386)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Ranunculus glaberrimus
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from cluster of fleshy roots, the roots 1-3 mm wide; stems prostrate to ascending, simple or branched above, 4-15 cm tall/long, smooth, not hollow.
Mostly basal, persistent, kidney- or egg-shaped, to narrowly elliptic, 0.7-5.2 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, margins entire or shallowly 3-lobed at tip, tips rounded to pointed, bases blunt to narrowed, the stalks long, slender; stem leaves alternate, unstalked or nearly so, deeply 3-lobed; smooth.
Inflorescence of 1- to 4-flowered, terminal cymes, on stalks to 10 cm long; receptacle smooth; petals 5-10 or more, distinct, yellow, 8-13 mm long, 5-12 mm wide, egg-shaped, nectary on upper surface, the nectary scale smooth or fringed with hairs, 1.5-2 mm long; sepals 5, early deciduous, spreading to bent back, 5-8 mm long, 3-7 mm wide, smooth above or sparsely hairy; stamens 40-80; pistils 30-150.
Achenes, numerous in a globe-shaped head 7-12 (20) mm long, 6-11 (20) mm wide, the achenes egg-shaped, plump, slightly winged, 1.4-2.2 mm long, 1.1-1.8 mm wide, usually minutely-hairy; beaks persistent, lanceolate- to awl-shaped, straight or curved, 0.4-1 mm long.
Two sympatric and intergrading varieties occur in BC:

1. Basal leaf blades egg-shaped, usually shallowly lobed; stem leaves usually entire..................... var. glaberrimus

1. Basal leaf blades oblanceolate to elliptic, usually entire; stem leaves entire to 3-lobed..................... var. ellipticus Greene

SourceThe 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


Ecological Framework for Ranunculus glaberrimus

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)
913 375 2105
Slope Gradient (%)
24 0 78

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

149 14 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BAFA(1), BG(10), ESSF(5), IDF(28), MS(1), PP(26), SBS(1)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to dry grasslands, shrublands, sandy flats, rocky slopes and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent northward; E to SK and S to NB, ND, NM, AZ and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia