Ranunculus sceleratus var. sceleratus
cursed buttercup
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


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E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Ranunculus sceleratus var. sceleratus
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Species Information

Amphibious, annual herb, from slender, fleshy roots; stems 1 to several, erect, 15-50 cm tall, usually branched, smooth, hollow.
Basal and stem leaves kidney-shaped to semi-circular, deeply 3-lobed or 3-parted, 1-5 cm long, 1.5-7 cm wide, bases squared-off to heart-shaped, the segments again lobed or parted, sometimes undivided, margins round-toothed to -lobed, tips rounded or sometimes blunt, the stalks 2- to 4-times length of blade; stem leaves alternate, numerous, more deeply lobed and divided than basal leaves.
Inflorescence of few- to many-flowered cymes terminal to main stem and branches, the flower stalks stout, 1-3 cm long; receptacle hairy or smooth; petals 3-5, distinct, yellow, 2-5 mm long, 1-3 mm wide, egg-shaped, nectary on upper surface, the nectary scale about 1 mm long, not covering nectary; sepals 3-5, yellowish, bent back from near base, 2-5 mm long, 1-3 mm wide, smooth or sparsely stiff-hairy, early deciduous; stamens 15 to 20; pistils (50) 100-250 (or more).
Achenes, numerous in an elliptic to cylindric head 5-13 mm long, 3-7 mm wide, the achenes egg-shaped, slightly flattened, 1-1.2 mm long, 0.8-1 mm wide, thick-margined, smooth or corrugated; beaks stout, triangular, usually straight, 0.1 mm long.
The introduced var. sceleratus, with more deeply cleft basal leaves and cross-corrugated achene faces, is known in the Osoyoos area.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat and Range

Wet to moist ponds, shores, mudflats and marshes in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent elsewhere; N to AK, YT and NT, E to PQ and NB and S to LA, FL, MN, IA, NM, AZ and N CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Hecatonia scelerata (L.) Fourr.
Ranunculus sceleratus var. typicus L.D. Benson