Ranunculus cardiophyllus Hook.
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Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species Synonyms: Ranunculus cardiophyllus var. subsagittatus (Gray) L. Benson
Ranunculus cardiophyllus var. typicus L. Benson
Ranunculus pedatifidus var. cardiophyllus (Hook.) Britt.
Common Names: heartleaf buttercup
Canada: British Columbia – Alberta – southwestern Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan: southwestern Saskatchewan; Cypress Hills
Ecoregion: Cypress Upland
Saskatchewan: open upland fescue grasslands, grassy ravine slopes, and open aspen woods
Associated Species: blue violet, mat muhly
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G4G5 S1S2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Heartleaf buttercup is vulnerable because it is rare in Saskatchewan and is limited to the Cypress Hills region of the province. Most local populations are small and possible threats have been identified for this species.
Height: 10 – 50 cm
Roots: cylindrical, 1 – 3 mm thick
Stems: little branched, erect, long-hairy or hairless, stout
Leaves: basal leaves persistent, stalked, blades 2 – 7 cm long, 2 – 4.5 cm wide, usually undivided, oval to elliptic, base heart-shaped to obtuse, occasionally lobed, margin round-toothed; stem leaves deeply 3 – 7-dissected and different from basal leaves, short-stalked to sessile, divisions linear
Inflorescence: flowers solitary to few per stem; stalks long-hairy
Flowers: receptacle grey-hairy; sepals 5 – 8 mm long, long-hairy below; petals 5 – 10, 5 – 13 mm long; nectary scale hairy or hairless; stamens numerous; carpels numerous on a receptacle
Fruits: receptacle elongating into an ovoid or cylindrical head of one-seeded fruits; fruits finely grey-hairy, beak narrowly triangular
1 Petals white; aquatic plants with all leaves submersed
R. aquatilis var. diffusa
1 Petals yellow; mostly terrestrial plants or not strictly aquatic (except R. gmelinii)
2 Fruits with 3 or 4 longitudinal nerves; leaves round-toothed; plants with runners
R. cymbalaria
2 Fruits not nerved longitudinally; leaves various; plants without runners
3 Basal leaves entire to slightly lobed, upper leaves similar or absent
3 Basal leaves distinctly toothed, lobed or divided OR if entire, stem leaves deeply lobed or cleft and unlike the basal leaves OR basal leaves absent
4 Leaves linear and essentially bladeless or blades linear
R. flammula var. reptans
4 Leaves with well-developed lance-shaped to oval blades
R. flammula var. ovalis
5 Sepals 3 or 4; leaves kidney-shaped
5 Sepals 5; leaves of various shapes
6 Plants at least partially aquatic, < 5 cm high; leaves to 1 cm wide; fruits not constricted, nearly beakless
R. hyperboreus var. hyperboreus
6 Plants terrestrial, 10 – 20 cm high; leaves to 5 cm wide; fruits constricted near the middle, beak hooked
R. lapponicus
7 Plants strictly aquatic, weak stems floating
R. gmelinii
7 Plants not strictly aquatic
8 Beaks of fruits minute, fruit corky-thickened towards base; plant fleshy; lower leaves stalked
R. sceleratus
8 Beaks of fruits distinct, fruit not corky-thickened towards base; plants not fleshy; lower leaves more or less all sessile
9 Basal leaves entire to round-toothed or shallowly 3 – 5-lobed, stem leaves cleft or divided
9 Basal leaves deeply dissected, the lobes often toothed
10 Hairs on sepals reddish-brown, long; stems usually 1-flowered
R. nivalis
10 Sepals hairless or white-hairy; stems usually 2 – many-flowered
11 Fruiting heads cylindrical
11 Fruiting heads nearly round
12 Fruits to 150 per aggregate, finely hairy; plants hairy; petals 5 – 9 mm long
R. glaberrimus var. ellipticus
12 Fruits to 50 per aggregate, hairless; plants hairless; petals 6 – 15 mm long
R. rhomboideus
13 Petals 1.5 – 3 mm long; basal leaves kidney-shaped
R. abortivus
13 Petals greater than 3 mm long; basal leaves circular or heart-shaped
14 Flower stalks stout; petals 8 – 15 mm long; stems and leaves long-hairy
R. cardiophyllus
14 Flower stalks slender; petals 3 – 8 mm long; stems and leaves nearly hairless
R. inamoenus var. inamoenus
15 Fruits slightly flattened, beaks slender; receptacle in fruit 4 times its length in flower
R. pedatifidus var. affinis
15 Fruits very strongly flattened, beaks stout; receptacle in fruit < 3 times its length in flower
16 Petals 5 – 15 mm long, noticeably longer than sepals; sepals spreading; terminal segment of larger leaves sessile
R. acris var. acris
16 Petals 4 – 5 mm long, shorter than or barely surpassing sepals; sepals reflexed; terminal segment of larger leaves stalked
17 Stems reclining or prostrate, often rooting at lower nodes; petals equalling or longer than sepals, deep yellow; sepals purplish; heads of fruits ovoid to round
R. macounii
17 Stems erect, not rooting at the nodes; petals shorter than sepals, pale yellow; sepals yellowish; heads of fruits cylindrical
R. pensylvanicus