Ranunculus lappaceus Sm.

Australian Buttercup

in Rees, Cycl. 29: Ranunculus no. 61 (1814) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Variable perennial, 10–60(–90) cm tall, with fibrous or rarely, fleshy tuberiform roots. Leaves all or mostly tufted at base; petioles mostly 5–30(–50) cm long, with appressed or spreading hairs; lamina ovate to deltoid in outline, 1.5–6(–9) cm long and wide, sparsely to densely appressed-hairy, 3-lobed to trifoliolate, the segments toothed or further lobed, the mid-lobe sometimes distant from the lateral lobes. Flowering stems erect, exceeding leaves, with spreading and/or appressed hairs, 2–10-flowered; sepals 5, spreading, elliptic, 4–7 mm long, hairy on back; petals 5, broadly obovate, sometimes truncate or emarginate, 7–17(–22) mm long, 6–15(–19) mm wide, yellow, glossy; nectary lobe cuneate, free for 30–60% of its length, c. 1–2 mm long; stamens 40–110. Achenes usually c. 20–50, obovate-cuneate, lenticular, c. 2–3.5 mm long, smooth on sides; beak weakly to strongly arched with a shortly recoiled tip, c. 1–2 mm long; receptacle hispid between achenes, glabrous in the staminal zone. Flowers mainly Aug.–Nov.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Common in moist, forested, usually elevated areas almost throughout the State, occasional in subalpine grasslands, now rare in lowland grasslands and grassy woodlands (e.g. Werribee, Sunbury, Stratford).

Plants from the Murray River and adjacent areas between c. Cobram and Swan Hill are generally taller (to 90 cm or more), subglabrous, with larger leaves and flowers (dimensions represented by bracketed measurements in description above) and achenes with consistently strongly arched beaks. This giant form may warrant formal recognition. Specimens of otherwise typical plants from subalpine areas and some lowland sites with heavy soils show a tendency to produce fleshy tuberiform roots.

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, 2018-12-03
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 lappaceus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Ranunculus lappaceus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory