This section is from the book "Sub-Alpine Plants Or Flowers Of The Swiss Woods And Meadows", by H. Stuart Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Sub-Alpine Plants: Or, Flowers of the Swiss Woods and Meadows.
Stem 1-3 inches high; leaves not shining, where it differs chiefly from A. alpestris, which it resembles, and of which it is sometimes considered a variety. Leaves veined; root-leaves 3-partite, reni-form in outline, the central lobe 3-cleft, the divisions lanceolate. Stem 1-flowered, usually with one leaf; stem-leaf linear, undivided. Flower-stalk furrowed. Calyx glabrous. Petals obcordate or 3-lobed, white.
Dry places on limestone, at about 5000 feet; rare. June, July.
Eastern Alps; Tyrol to Carniola.
Stem 4-12 inches high, erect. Root-leaves palmate; divisions obovate, 3-cleft, obtusely toothed. Lowermost stem-leaf 5-cleft; divisions linear, palmately diverging; upper stem-leaf 3-cleft. Flowers 1-3, yellow. Sepals spreading, pubescent. Carpels marginate, convex on both sides; beak somewhat curved, very short. Receptacle bristly.
Alpine and sub-alpine woods and pastures; 3500-8200 feet. Common. June to August. Very variable, and with several named varieties, of which R. Villarsii DC. is a very striking dwarf form.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Jura, Black Forest, Corbieres, Pyrenees, Western Asia and W. Africa.
A tall Buttercup, the size of R. acris. Stems hollow branched, densely woolly. Leaves hairy beneath, lower ones 5-partite with broadly obovate lobes, irregularly toothed, the upper leaves tripartite with lanceolate lobes; peduncles not furrowed. Flowers bright yellow. Sepals spreading, hairy; receptacle glabrous. Carpels glabrous, with hooked beak nearly half the length of the carpel.
Mountain woods, especially in the Conifer zone. June to August.
Alps, Jura, Dept. of the Var, Corsica; Central and Southern Europe from Denmark to Italy, Greece and the Caucasus.
Ranunculus bulbosus, R. acris, and R. repens are often found in the sub-alpine meadows; R. acris especially ascending some distance into the mountains. R. auricomus does not get higher than the woods of the Swiss foot-hills.
Rootstock with spindle-shaped roots in bundles. Stem 4-12 inches high, 1-5 flowered, simple, glabrous like the whole plant. Lower stem-leaves sessile or shortly petioled, roundly kidney-shaped, toothed or crenate-toothed, the next leaves with 3-5 lobes, and the others lanceolate entire. Flowers small, yellow. Petals 5. Sepals glabrous. Carpels almost globular, with a short beak.
Steep, stony places in the Alps, in the Pine region and above, up to 7000 feet. June, July; not common.
Carpathians, Eastern Alps, Switzerland, Jura, Savoy, and Dauphiny; Italian Alps and Central Pyrenees.
This species closely resembles the last, of which it is considered a variety by some botanists. It is taller and stouter, with more branched stem and larger flowers.
Its habitat is similar, but it is not found quite so high inrthe Alps. June, July.
Eastern Alps (Styria).