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

Trautvetteria caroliniensis (Walter) Vail
false bugbane (Carolina bugbane)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6972)

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Distribution of Trautvetteria caroliniensis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from widespread slender rhizomes and tufts of fibrous roots; stems 1 to several, erect, 50-80 (100) cm tall, unbranched below inflorescence, smooth or becoming so.
Basal leaves simple, long-stalked (to 45 cm), 10-30 cm wide, palmately 5- to 11-lobed, the segments broadly wedge-shaped, margins irregularly cut to sharp-toothed, the veins conspicuous, smooth above, usually somewhat hairy and paler below; stem leaves 1 or 2, alternate, short-stalked, reduced toward top of stem.
Inflorescence many-flowered, terminal, somewhat flat-topped clusters, the stalks of the inflorescence 10-50 cm tall, the bracts small, linear-lanceolate; petals absent; sepals 3-5 (-7), greenish-white, concave-cupped, broadly egg-shaped, clawed, 3-6 mm long; stamens 50-100, the filaments white, 5-10 mm long, the outer ones 15-20 and narrowly spoon-shaped, the inner not dilated; pistils about 15.
Achene-like utricles in a cluster, papery, 3-4 mm long, prominently veined on the 4 angles, unstalked; beaks 0.4-0.8 mm long, curved or hooked.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests in the lowland and montane zones; common on Vancouver Island, infrequent on mainland coast north to 53ÝÜN, rare in SE BC; S to MO, PA, FL, NM, AZ, ID, OR and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Trautvetteria caroliniensis

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) 0 293 1980
Slope Gradient (%) 0 7 190
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 8
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: BWBS(1), CDF(2), CWH(389), ESSF(8), ICH(9), IDF(1), MH(10), MS(1), PP(1), SBS(2)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, Asian and transcontinental North American forb (absent in the Central region). Occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogenĀ­rich soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, elevation and continentality. Scattered, occasionally dominant, in broadĀ­leaved forests on water-receiving sites (alluvium, floodplain, and stream-edge); extends to water-collecting sites. Tolerates fluctuating groundwater tables. Often associated with Athyriumfilix-femina, Boykinia elata, Maianthemum dilatatum, Polystichum munitum, Rubus spectabilis, and Tiarella trifoliata. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Trautvetteria caroliniensis var. occidentalis (A. Gray) C.L. Hitchc.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References