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Water Buttercup - Ranunculus aquatilis
Family: Ranunculaceae

THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

Description

Water buttercup is an annual or perennial species that grows up to about 1 m tall and has branching stems. Floating leaves are sometimes present, but more frequently, the plant only has submersed leaves. The floating leaves are entire, kidney-shaped or orbicular and usually have 3 to 5 lobes. Submersed leaves are 2 to 3 cm long, ternately or binately dissected into flaccid or stiff filiform segments. The stipule is adnate and encircles the base of each petiole. Flowers are borne on stalks from the leaf axils and have 5 white petals that sometimes have a yellow base. After flowering, the stalks usually recurve into the water and produce a head-like cluster of beaked fruits that are 1 to 2 mm long.

Interesting facts

Water buttercup grows in shallow water of marshes, ponds, lakes, and slow streams. According to Cook (1966), species in this complex generally are pioneer species that are later replaced by pondweeds, water lilies, and other rhizomatous aquatic species. They also are usually found in slow moving water less than 1 meter deep and will not grow in deep shade. Seeds are dispersed by water, in mud, and perhaps by animals.

In quiet water, white water-crowfoot can form dense mats and hinder access and restrict recreational activities. Nelson and Couch (1985) note that white water-crowfoot generally does not cause problems in large reservoirs in Oklahoma because wave action tends to break the brittle stems and prevent the formation of large colonies. Most problems caused by white water-crowfoot were in small ponds, lakes, and sluggish streams that often became choked by mid-summer.

Links to more information


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

 

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