Ranunculus hispidus is a perennial herb, 1-90 cm tall, tufted, from a short rhizome with fibrous and some thickened roots.
Leaves alternate, basal leaves large, rounded to 3-lobed, as wide as long, later leaves 3-lobed to 3-parted, leaflet tips pointed, margins lobed and toothed, leaf stalk hairy.
Flowers yellow, petals usually 5 up to 8, 0.3-1 cm long, 0.8-1.4 cm wide, widest above middle, up to twice as long as the sepals; flowering stems 1-4. hairy, 2-8 flowered; blooming Apr.-May.
Fruit a cluster of dry achenes, each 0.2-0.35 cm long, beak straight, 0.2-0.3 cm long, keel 3-parted, sometimes winged; fruiting May-mid-June (Hough 1983).
Wetland status: FAC.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Moist to dry woods, shady edges. Soil pH 4.5-8 Tolerant of shade (USDA, NRCS 2009).