Ranunculus, a little frog, because some species live near water.
Perennial. Open woods and rocky hillsides. New England, Ontario, Manitoba, south to North Carolina and Texas. Common in northern Ohio. April, May.
Downy, generally low, six to twelve inches high.
Dark green, long-petioled, cleft into three to five divisions; divisions stalked (especially the terminal one), deeply lobed, and cleft; lobes oblong or linear.
Deep yellow, about an inch across.
Sepals five, spreading.
Saucer-shaped, of five obovate petals much longer than the sepals; each petal with a nectar-bearing pit and a scale at the base.
Many carpels, scarcely margined, tipped with a slender beak.
Globular head of akenes; akenes flat, slightly margined.
Pollinated by flies. Nectar-bearing. Stamens mature before the stigmas.
Leaf of Early Buttercup. Ranunculus fascicularis
This is our earliest Buttercup - a fine, silky-haired woodland species growing from six to twelve inches high and blooming in dry open woods among the early spring flowers.
So early a Buttercup possesses a personal charm, as if in its own person it represented the coming summer, as indeed it does. The leaves and stems rise from fleshy roots, which explains their ability to swing into the race so early.