Ranunculus uncinatus D. Don ex G. Don
little buttercup (woodland buttercup)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jeanne Ross     (Photo ID #13106)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Ranunculus uncinatus
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Species Information

Annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial herb from coarse, fibrous roots; stems single, erect, 20-60 (90) cm tall, simple or few-branched, stiff-hairy or nearly smooth, hollow.
Basal heart- to kidney-shaped, 3-parted to deeply 3-lobed, the blades 2-6 cm long, 3-8 cm wide, the segments again lobed, the ultimate segments elliptic to lanceolate, margins few-toothed, tips pointed to rounded or blunt, the stalks up to 20 cm long; stem leaves few, alternate, the upper transitional to linear-lanceolate bracts.
Inflorescence of few-flowered terminal and axillary cymes; flower stalks to 6 cm long; receptacle smooth; petals 5, distinct, yellow, 2-4 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, nectary on upper surface, the nectary scale as wide as long, smooth; sepals 5, bent back or sometimes spreading, 2-3.5 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, early deciduous, hairy; stamens 10-20; pistils (5) 10-30.
Achenes, several to many in a globe-shaped head 4-7 mm long, 4-7 mm wide, the achenes egg-shaped, 2-2.8 mm long, 1.6-2 mm wide, smooth or sparsely stiff-hairy, margins prominent, keeled; beaks persistent, lanceolate, 1.2-2.5 mm long, curved and hooked.
Recognition of infraspecific entities does not appear warranted.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Ranunculus uncinatus

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)
931 0 2195
Slope Gradient (%)
8 0 110

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

183 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 2 8
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(2), BG(1), BWBS(5), CDF(21), CWH(122), ESSF(71), ICH(41), IDF(49), IMA(1), MH(2), MS(63), PP(7), SBPS(13), SBS(84), SWB(8)

Habitat and Range

Moist meadows, streambanks and open woodlands in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in BC south of 56degreeN, rare in NW BC; N to AK, E to AB and S to NM, AZ and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Ranunculus uncinatus var. parviflorus (Torr.) L.D. Benson