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Ranunculus sp.
Common Name:
Buttercups
Family: Ranunculaceae


Description: The stems and leaves of this genus varies greatly. Even the plants of the same species can have different characteristics. However, commonly the plants have groups of three leaflets and yellow flowers.
Leaves: 
Found in groups of three leaflets on short stalks. Each leaf has three rounded lobes. The veins on the leaves are covered with hairs.
Flowers:
These small yellow flowers have five rounded petals.
Seeds: 
The seeds are flat and flanged with a long break at one end.
Stem: The weak hollow stem can be smooth or covered in course hairs.
Branching Pattern:
Alternate
Height: 1-3 feet
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Found in moist woods, meadows, and thickets.
Known Wildlife Interactions:
Insects suck the nectar produced by the plant, while beetles and some bees will feed on the pollen. The seeds are eaten by wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and voles. The foliage is generally avoided due to its toxic contents.
Range: Southern Canada south to Maryland and west to Missouri
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Not threatened in the U.S. or globally.
Uses (Human): The majority of plants in the genus have toxins in them. The acrid juices can cause blistering to the skin.
References:

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: April 25, 2006.  <http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Polygonum+sagittatum>

Connecticut Wildflowers.  January 20, 2006.  Connecticut Botanical Society.  Accessed:  April 25, 2006. <http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/polygonumsagi.html>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  April 25, 2006. <http://www.paflora.org>

Chadde, Steve W. A Great Lakes Wetland Flora. Pocketflora Press. 2002. pg310

Ranunculus septentrionalis. Missouri Flora Webpage. Accessed: April 25, 2006 <http://www.missouriplants.com/Yellowalt/Ranunculus_septentrionalis_page.html

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/sw_buttercup.htm

Peterson, Roger T., MicKenny, Margaret. Wildflowers: Northeast/ North-Central Amercia. Peterson Field Guides.1996. pg. 132

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <http://www.iucnredlist.org>

This page was created by: A Coiro, Muhlenberg College
Photos by: L. Rosenberg, edited by N. Smith
Last updated 04/25/06