Ranunculus abortivus small-flowered crowfoot Ranunculaceae RAAB; Bx, pb, vc; NY, bl (Stalter and Tang 2002); Q, cu; R, bd, bm, d, w;

Ranunculus abortivus.David G. Smith.www.delawarewildflowers.org

Ranunculus abortivus.David G. Smith.www.delawarewildflowers.org (Accessed 4/2014).

Ranunculus abortivus is a perennial herb to 50 cm tall, branched, base of stem often purple, root crown somewhat swollen but not bulb or corm-like, roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988). 

Leaves alternate, basal leaves 2-3 cm, wider than long, kidney-shaped to rounded, base lobed, margin mostly crenate, occasionally lobed, stalks elongate, stem leaves becoming stalkless upward, deeply 3-5 lobed, segments narrow, entire to lobed and toothed. 


Ranunculus abortivus.Donald Cameron.New England Wild Flower Society.gobotany.newenglandwild.org

Flowers yellow, small, petals to 0.3 cm long, shorter than sepals; blooming April-June. 

Fruit dry achenes 0.15 cm long, in an oval head. 

Wetland status: FACW. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Moist to wet herb layer of open forests and stream banks. 

Notes: Seeds and plants eaten by many birds and mammals (Martin 1951). No apparent dispersal mechanism. Rate of migration to distant or disconnected forest sites has been measured as 0.67 m/yr. (Matlack 1994). Contains the toxic oil protoanemonin (Kingsbury 1964).