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Littleleaf Buttercup
Ranunculus abortivus

It turns out if you touch the sap of this plant, you can have some minor skin irritation such as redness, burning and blisters. So … give it a wide berth.

This was another one of those plants, that when I first saw the flower, I was surprised and slightly obsessed with figuring out what it was, since I had never seen a little flower like this before. Unfortunately my photo of the flower (below) is a little out of focus. But to me, it’s a delicate little star.

Alternate Names: Kidneyleaf Buttercup, Small-flower Crowfoot, Small-flowered Buttercup
Size: 8"-20" tall
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Habitat: Moist, rich soils in shade.
Identification: "The leaves are variable in shape, and both stems and leaves are hairless. The basal leaves are kidney-shaped to circular and persistent, with scalloped margins, and the stem leaves are alternate and deeply lobed or divided. Those at the bottom have long petioles (stems), those at the top are shorter-stemmed to stemless, with narrow blades or lobes. Each stem can bear up to 50 flowers. The flower has five petals up to 1.5 to 3.5 mm  long, with a ring of stamens around a round cluster of green carpels. The carpels develop into brown, shiny rounded and slightly flattened achenes with a tiny beak." From Wikipedia  Blooms April-July
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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