Perennial. Low, swampy, moist, and shaded places. New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to Georgia and Kentucky. Frequent in northern Ohio. April-July.
One to three feet high, thick, hollow, generally smooth, sometimes downy, usually tall and branching, the later branches sometimes procumbent and rooting at the nodes.
Frequently mottled; lower leaves raised well out of marsh or water on long petioles; mostly three-cleft, the divisions cut into broad, wedge-like lobes, variously toothed.
Satin yellow, an inch across.
Sepals five, spreading.
Saucer-shaped, of five petals; each obovate twice the length of the sepals, with a nectar-bearing pit, and a scale at the base; the petals do not overlap one another.
Many carpels, strongly margined, tipped by a stout beak.
Globular head of akenes; akenes flat, strongly margined.
Pollinated by flies and small bees. Nectar-bearing. Stamens mature before the stigmas.
Swamp-Buttercup. Ranunculus septentrionalis
This is one of the early Buttercups, to be looked for in wet and marshy places, where it frequently covers considerable areas. It blooms sparingly, which, with its surroundings, adds to its attractiveness; the yellow of the blossom is brilliant but paler than most of the Buttercups. The stem may be found standing up or lying down; if erect, it rises two or three feet; if reclining, it hugs the earth and roots at the joints, in this way making beds; in any case, the leaves are lifted on long petioles out of the wet.