This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Glabrous slightly fleshy perennial herbs, with thickened tuberous roots, branched or simple spreading or erect stems, petioled entire or toothed cordate leaves, and large solitary yellow terminal or axillary flowers. Sepals 3 or sometimes 5, deciduous. Petals 7-12 (commonly 8), yellow, or red at the base, bearing a small pit and scale at the base of the blade. Stamens and pistils numerous. Achenes slightly compressed, blunt, not wrinkled nor ribbed. Cotyledon only one. [Latin, fig, from the fig-like thickened roots.]
About 4 species, natives of the Old World. Type species: Ficaria verna Huds.
Ranunculus Ficaria L. Sp. Pl. 550. 1753.
F. verna Huds. Fl. Angl. 214. 1762.
F. ranunculoides Moench, Meth. 215. 1794.
Glabrous, flowering stems scapose, 4'-5' high, bearing 1 or 2 leaves or naked, erect from large fleshy thickened roots. Leaves ovate, cordate, obtuse, crenate, somewhat fleshy, on broad petioles, the blade l'-2' long; flowers yellow, 1' broad; sepals 3; petals 8 or 9; head of fruit globose, 1/2' broad; carpels beakless, truncate.
Massachusetts to the District of Columbia. Fugitive from Europe, where it is a common pasture weed, occurring also in western Asia. Pilewort. Crain. Figwort-buttercup. Golden guineas. Golden cup. April-May.
Cyrtorhyncha ranunculina Nutt., of Wyoming and Colorado, admitted into our first edition as also of Nebraska, is here omitted, as the specimens so determined, and recorded in the " Catalogue of Nebraska Plants," prove, on examination, to be Ranunculus delphinifolius Torr.