Ontario Weeds: Celery-leaved buttercup

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Flowers and Fruit
  7. Habitat
  8. Similar Species
  9. Related Links

Name: Celery-leaved buttercup, Ranunculus sceleratus L.,

Other Names: renoncule scélérate, Cursed crowfoot

Family: Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae)

General Description: Annual or short-lived perennial, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Celery-leaved buttercup.

Celery-leaved buttercup.

Celery-leaved buttercup. A. Plant. B. One flower with many stamens and pistils. C. One seed head with many seeds.

Celery-leaved buttercup. A. Plant. B. One flower with many stamens and pistils. C. One seed head with many seeds.

Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 5-60cm (2-24in.) high, stout, hollow, smooth, branched above, often somewhat succulent; basal and lower stem leaves succulent, long-stalked, somewhat kidney-shaped in outline and distinctly 3-lobed to nearly 3-parted, the segments again cleft or lobed or with rounded teeth; upper leaves much smaller, commonly either having 3 linear-oblong segments with entire or only slightly toothed divisions, or simple.

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers numerous but borne singly on long stalks at the ends of branches, the whole inflorescence being either rounded or elongated; sepals 2-5mm (1/12-1/5in.) long, with soft hairs; petals pale yellow, 1-5mm (1/25-1/5in.) long; stamens many in a ring surrounding the many tiny pistils; seeds (achenes) individually very small, 0.8-1.4mm (1/30-1/20in.) long, but very numerous in a short, cylindric cluster. Flowers from May to September.

Habitat: Celery-leaved buttercup is found in southern and western Ontario in swamps, ditches, roadsides, pastures, fields, mudflats and the edges of ponds and lakes.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by its celery-like, 3-lobed lower leaves having long petioles and rounded teeth, its small, yellow flowers and its elongated cluster of seeds.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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