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Ranunculus californicus (California buttercup)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Ranunculus californicus

Ranunculus californicus Benth.

California Buttercup

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Ranunculus californicus var. austromontanus, Ranunculus californicus var. cuneatus, Ranunculus californicus var. gratus, Ranunculus californicus var. rugulosus, Ranunculus californicus var. typicus, Ranunculus rugulosus

USDA Symbol: RACA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The California Buttercup is a member of the buttercup family (family Ranunculaceae). Buttercups are usually leafy herbs, sometimes woody vines or shrublike. The family has 35-70 genera and about 2,000 species that occur mostly in cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Several are grown as ornamentals, others provide drugs, and some are poisonous. The family is most likely to be confused with the Rose Family (Rosaceae), from which it is distinguished by the absence of a cup-like base.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Stems erect to prostrate, up to about 2 feet long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Canada: BC

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACU FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ranunculus californicus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ranunculus californicus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ranunculus californicus


Record Modified: 2022-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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