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Weed Identification

cursed buttercup

Family

Ranunculaceae

Scientific Name

Ranunculus sceleratus

Other Common Names:

celery-leaved crowfoot
cursed crowsfoot

Habit

Grows upright to about 2ft tall

Leaves

Lower leaves have 3-5 deep lobes and are 1-6in wide with blunt teeth. Leaves become less-deeply lobed going up the stem, with upper leaves potentially oval to lanceolate in shape. Leaves typically have long petioles. Leaves are succulent and can be hairless to silky.

Identifying Characteristics

This species has a hollow stem. Its life cycle is typically short-lived perennial, but can be annual. Key characteristics include succulence and silky hairs, if present.

Flower Seed Head

Upper stems terminate in small flower clusters. Individual flowers are marked by large, nearly cylindrical clusters of pistils. These green pistils are surrounded by a small ring of short stamens and then 5 yellow petals and 5 yellow-green sepals. Flowers are around 0.3in across.

Seed Fruit

Small achenes are smooth, often spongy, and without beaks. Achenes measure less than 1mm across.

Where Found

Typically in wet areas like marshes, ditches, and stream banks.

Growth Habit

upright and nonwoody

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter

Varies: 
pencil
dime

Dominant Flower Color

yellow

Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

Varies: 
no hairs
has hairs

Leaf Shape

Varies: 
lance
oval
triangle

Leaf Arrangement

alternate

Leaf Margin

lobed

Leaf Structure

simple

Leaf Stalk

longer than leaf

Stem Hairs

Varies: 
has hairs
no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure

fibrous

Life Cycle

perennial

Ochrea

not present

Plant Type

Herb