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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Mountain Buttercup - Ranunculus populago

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 7

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Numerous collections at MONT and MONTU, nearly all from the Bitterroots.
General Description
Stems, erect, 20–70 cm with hirsute foliage. Basal leaf blades cordate, ternate, 3–10 cm long; the stalked leaflets deeply 3-lobed, dentate. Flowers with petals 2–4 mm long, shorter than the pilose sepals. Achenes ca. 2 mm long, glabrous with a straight beak ca. 0.7 mm long; head short-cylindrical, 8–15 mm high (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
AK to NL south to AZ, NM, IA and NY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 9

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this species or genera where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus auricomus, Bombus bifarius, Bombus nevadensis, and Bombus bimaculatus (Macior 1968, Thorp et al. 1983).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Macior, L.M. 1968. Bombus (Hymenoptera, Apidae) queen foraging in relation to vernal pollination in Wisconsin. Ecology 49:20-25.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Mountain Buttercup — Ranunculus populago.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from