Ranunculus parviflorus L. - Small-flowered Buttercup
Family - Ranunculaceae
Stems - From fibrous roots, multiple from the base, branching, terete, densely pilose to villous, herbaceous, to +/-15cm tall, erect to ascending.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petiole sheathing at the base, to +/-10cm long, pubescent as the stem, with a thin and shallow adaxial groove. Blades 3-5 palmately lobed, 3-4cm broad and long, sparse villous above and below. Lobes dentate, the teeth often with minute whitish tips.
Inflorescence - Single axillary flower from the base of the newest leaves, flowers hidden by the larger leaves of the plant. Flowers sessile at first but quickly becoming pedunculate. Peduncle to +/-2.5cm in fruit, villous, erect.
Flowers - Petals absent or reduced, spatulate, yellow, glabrous, to 2mm long, 1mm broad, rounded at the apex. Stamens +/-10, erect, from the base of the carpels, clavate. Anthers yellow, -1mm long. Receptacle naked. Carpels compressed, antrorse puberulent in the center. Sepals yellowish, reflexed, villous abaxially, glabrous adaxially, to 2mm long, +1mm broad, acute, lanceolate to ovate. Achenes to 3.5mm long, 2mm broad, pale green but with darker green margins near the apex, with a short beak to .5mm long. Beak straight or slightly curved.
Flowering - March - June.
Habitat - Open ground, waste ground, rocky pastures, dry soils, roadsides.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - This little introduced species can be found in a handful of Missouri counties. It is likely that the plant will spread with time as it grows well in disturbed areas.
Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 4-12-03, and off Lee Rd 54, Auburn, AL., 5-14-05.