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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, hollow, 8-30 cm with mostly glabrous foliage. Basal leaf blades 1-3 cm long, cordate with scalloped margins. Flowers with petals 4-8 mm long, twice as long as the glabrous sepals. Achenes flattened, glabrous or sparsely hairy, ca. 1.5 mm long with a straight beak <0.5 mm long, heads hemispheric, 2-3 mm high. (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
WA to MT south to CA, OR, ID. (Lesica et al. 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)

Wet meadows, along streams, wetlands; montane, 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Mountain Buttercup — Ranunculus populago.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from