Ranunculus sceleratus
(Cursed Crowfoot)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Cursed Crowfoot, Cursed Buttercup, Celery-leaf Buttercup
    Lifespan: Annual
    Zones: N/A
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: February - June
    Status: Native

Ranunculus sceleratus, or Cursed Crowfoot, is a native annual of moist areas, like fields, ditches, and wet lawns; it tends to come up in the fall and produce a basal rosette of leaves, and then blooms from that plant early in spring, before dying off in late spring after setting seed. This plant can be found in the entire continental United States.

There are many Ranunculus species, but most have larger flowers than this type. The closest species to this is Ranunculus abortivus, which blooms at the same time, and has similarly small flowers. The two species can be distingushed in the following way: Ranunculus abortivus is often taller; it has paler yellow flowers, with narrower petals, its leaves are kidney to spade shaped at the base, and the seed pods that form where the flower was form into a ball; in Ranunculus sceleratus, the seedpod is more elongate, and its flowers are also bright yellow, with fuller petals, and its basal leaves are more divided. See a picture below for comparison.

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