Sagebrush Buttercup (Ranunculus glaberrimus)

Sagebrush Buttercup (Ranunculus glaberrimus)

Bloom time: April – May

General: This very small wildflower (max. 15 cm tall) appears shortly after snowmelt in B.C. grassland areas.

Leaves & Twigs:
Sagebrush buttercup mainly produces low, basal leaves that often show shallow notches near the leaf tip.

Flowers & Fruits:

  • In early spring, this plant makes an intense show of shiny yellow flowers.
  • Dense fruit clusters (7-12 mm across) contain up to 150 tiny seeds. Each seed has a hairy texture and a slightly curved hook, which can latch onto fur or clothing to carry the seeds to a new location. Check your socks!

Habitat: Sagebrush buttercup occurs throughout B.C.’s arid grassland regions. It is often found growing with big sagebrush plants, ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir trees.

PlantWatch Pointers: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a l-metre-square section to observe.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
  • Mid bloom: when 50% of the flowers are open in the observed plants.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • British Columbia

The Latin genus name for this plant, Ranunculus, means “little frog”; buttercups often grow in areas where frogs live.