Ranunculus trilobus Desf.

Large Annual Buttercup

Fl. Atlant. 1: 437 (1798) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect, glabrous or sparsely pilose annual to c. 80 cm high. Leaves mostly cauline (but juvenile leaves more or less rosetted and orbicular to reniform); petioles to c. 15 cm long; lamina trifoliolate, to c. 6 cm long and wide, the segments usually again 3-lobed with variably toothed margins. Flowers in loose terminal cymes, pedicels elongating to c. 5 cm in fruit; sepals 5, ovate, 3–5 mm long, usually with a few hairs on back, strongly reflexed; petals usually 4 or 5, obovate, 4–6 mm long, yellow, glossy; nectary lobe 0.5–1 mm long, cuneate to obovate, attached near base only; stamens usually 10–20. Achenes usually 30–50 in a slightly elongate head, broadly obovate to orbicular, 2–3 mm long overall, almost flat, the faces more or less evenly covered with small tubercles, margin slightly thickened; beak triangular, c. 0.2 mm long; receptacle hispid.  Flowers Oct.–Dec.

*DunT, *GipP, *HSF, *MuF, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW, Tas. Native to south-western Europe. Occasional on heavy winter-wet clays and clay-loam soils, mostly near the Murray River between Albury and Kerang, but also west of Melbourne (e.g. Craigieburn, Geelong, Colac, Horsham etc.) where apparently becoming more common in recent years.

Sometimes invasive in pasture, then cattle will avoid both it and associated forage plants.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Ranunculaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-10-02
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Ranunculanae
order Ranunculales
family Ranunculaceae
genus Ranunculus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Ranunculus trilobus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Ranunculus trilobus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales