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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Water-plantain Buttercup - Ranunculus alismifolius

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3?
C-value: 7

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Stems erect, 7–40 cm with glabrous to hirsute foliage. Basal leaf blades 1–10 cm long, lanceolate to narrowly ovate with entire margins. Flowers with petals 4–12 mm long, twice as long as the glabrous to hirsute sepals. Achenes glabrous to sparsely hairy, ca. 2 mm long with a straight or bent beak 1 mm long; heads hemispheric, 4–6 mm high (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Montana has varities alismifolius, alismellus Gray, and davisii Benson.

Species Range

Range Comments
BC south to CA, NV, UT and CO (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 13

(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)

Moist to wet meadows, margins of streams, wetlands, rocky places: montane to subalpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus 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
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • 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?
    • Conrad, C.C. 1979. Characteristics of Pocket Gopher populations in relation to selected environmental factors in Pelican Valley, Yellowstone National Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 79 p.
    • King, C. R. 1953. The Ranunculaceae of Montana. M.S. Thesis, Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 82 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Water-plantain Buttercup"
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Citation for data on this website:
Water-plantain Buttercup — Ranunculus alismifolius.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from