SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ranunculus
COMMON NAME(S): Buttercups, Crowfoots
FAMILY: RANUNCULACEAE - Buttercup family
ORIGIN: Worldwide temperate and boreal zones, about 400 spp.
HABITAT: Woods, meadows, cultivated landscapes
HEIGHT: 2" to 4'
CHARACTERISTICS: Sometimes with potato-like underground stem
LEAVES: Spirally-arranged, often variously lobed or dissected
FLOWERS: Solitary or in clusters, round, usually showy, generally with 5 petals and many spirally-arranged stamens, yellow, red, white or pink
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, fall
FRUITS: Head of small, dry, 1-seeded fruits
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Ranunculin (a glycoside) which forms protoanemonin (volatile oil), Anemonol (an alcohol)
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological, respiratory, eye irritant
COMMENTS: Many species contain a chemical which forms an irritating, volatile oil that may cause skin, respiratory or eye irritation. R. asiaticus L. has yielded many hybrid garden varieties.