"Buttercup Family"


Flower Characteristics Representatives
Vegetative Characteristics Images
Other Points of Interest Links

Flower Characteristics
  • perianth is usually regular and of many separate petals and/or sepals; often with tepals only (which look like petals); perianth zygomorphic in Delphinium and Aconitum
  • perianth parts spirally arranged (considered primitive)
  • stamens:  usually many and spirally arranged
  • gynoecium hypogynous of 3 to many separate, superior, unilocular, spirally arranged pistils
  • floral formula:  - follicle or achene
  • Note:  the buttercups display many characteristics considered primitive such as regular flowers, lack of fusion, many separate parts, superior ovaries, and spirally arranged parts
Vegetative Characteristics
  • leaves mostly alternate, compound (most often palmately compound)
  • all of our local species are herbaceous
Other Points of Interest
  • economic value only as ornamentals (peony, larkspur, clematis, columbine, anemones)
  • Buttercups (Ranunculus)
  • Marsh Marigold (Caltha)
  • Hepatica, Liverleaf (Hepatica)
  • Windflowers (Anemone)
  • Rue Anemone (Anemonella)
  • Peony (Paeonia)
  • Clematis (Clematis)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Larkspur (Delphinium)
  • Meadow Rue (Thalictrum) Note: Meadow Rue is unusual for this family in that it has unisexual, wind-pollinated flowers.  Leaf shape appears in other genera which often have a species epithet "thalictroides" = Thalictrum-like


        Flora of North America http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=10757 
        Univ of Wisconsin  http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/courses/systematics/family_index/Family_Pages/ Family_R_S_T/Ranunculaceae.html

Amaryllidaceae Cruciferae Lamiaceae Rosaceae
Apiaceae Cyperaceae Leguminosae Scrophulariaceae
Araceae Fabaceae Liliaceae Solanaceae
Asteraceae Fagaceae Magnoliaceae Umbelliferae
Brassicaceae Gramineae Orchidaceae Violaceae
Caryophyllaceae Iridaceae Poaceae  
Compositae Labiatae Ranunculaceae