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Ranunculus eschscholtzii (Eschscholtz's buttercup)
Weyand, Phyllis

Ranunculus eschscholtzii

Ranunculus eschscholtzii Schltdl.

Eschscholtz's Buttercup, Subalpine Buttercup

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



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

5 shiny, brilliant yellow petals are part of flowers that are sometimes so numerous as nearly to hide the foliage of this low plant.

Subalpine Buttercup has the largest flowers of North American species. There are many Buttercups, most with shiny yellow petals, and most difficult to identify. Yellow marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris), from coastal bogs in Oregon to Alaska, resembles a Buttercup but lacks green sepals.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , NT , YT
Native Distribution: Alaska to southern California; east to Alberta; throughout the Rocky Mountains to northern New Mexico.
Native Habitat: High in mountain meadows and on rocky slopes.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium


Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Low toxicity if eaten. Minor skin irritation lasting minutes if touched. Symptoms include burning of the mouth, abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Skin redness, burning sensation, and blisters following contact with cell sap. Toxic Principle: Protoanemonin, released from the glycoside ranunculin.(Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

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.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
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 eschscholtzii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ranunculus eschscholtzii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ranunculus eschscholtzii


Record Modified: 2023-05-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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