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Small-Flowered Buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus L.)

Also known as littleleaf buttercup, kidney-leaved crowfoot.

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Small-Flowered Buttercup
Photo © Marilynn Miller, CC BY 4.0.


An inconspicuous but widespread and common flower, a biennial or short-lived perennial.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

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Rock Buttercup (Ranunculus micranthus)
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Allegheny Mountain buttercup (Ranunculus allegheniensis)
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Found in a wide variety of habitats in partly sunny, moist-to-mesic conditions, in fertile loam to clay-loam soil. Habitats include woodland openings and edges, especially in bottomlands. Common in anthropogenic habitats including paths through woodlands, pastures, abandoned fields, margins of yards, suburban gardens, vacant lots, areas along roadsides and railroads, especially near wet ditches, and other waste ground.

Tolerates some flooding.

In the northeastern portion of its range it is also found in rockier habitats including cliffs, ledges, talus slopes, and rock outcroppings.

Life Cycle

This species grows opportunistically as a biennial or short-lived perennial.

Ranunculus abortivus (Small-flowered Buttercup) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Ranunculus abortivus (littleleaf buttercup) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Ranunculus abortivus | Go Botany (About This Site)

Ranunculus abortivus | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Ranunculus abortivus | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Ranunculus abortivus | Flora of North America (About This Site)

Ranunculus abortivus | Missouri Plants (About This Site)

Little-leaved Buttercup | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)

Photo gallery

Photo © Ira Gershenhorn, Public Domain.
Photo © Marilynn Miller, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Bill Keim, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Sandy Wolkenberg, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Bill Keim, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Bill Keim, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Sandy Wolkenberg, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Nick Kleinschmidt, CC BY 4.0.