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: Muhlenbergia richardsonis, Viola adunca
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G4G5 S1S2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Ranunculus cardiophyllus 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, pilose or glabrous, stout
Leaves: basal leaves persistent, petiolate, blades 2 – 7 cm long, 2 – 4.5 cm wide, usually undivided, ovate to elliptic, base cordate to obtuse, occasionally lobed, margin crenate; cauline leaves deeply 3 – 7-dissected and different from basal leaves, short-petioled to sessile, divisions linear
Inflorescence: flowers solitary to few per stem; pedicels pilose
Flowers: receptacle canescent; sepals 5 – 8 mm ling, pilose abaxially; petals 5 – 10, 5 – 13 mm long; nectary scale ciliate or glabrous; stamens numerous; carpels numerous on a receptacle
Fruits: receptacle elongating into an ovoid or cylindrical head of achenes; achenes finely canescent, beak subulate
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 Achenes with 3 or 4 longitudinal nerves; leaves crenate; plants stoloniferous
R. cymbalaria
2 Achenes not nerved longitudinally; leaves various; plants not stoloniferous
3 Basal leaves entire to slightly lobed, upper leaves similar or absent
3 Basal leaves distinctly toothed, lobed or divided OR if entire, cauline leaves deeply lobed or cleft and unlike the basal leaves OR basal leaves absent
4 Leaves linear and essentially bladeless or blades linear-lanceolate
R. flammula var. reptans
4 Leaves with well-developed lanceolate to oval blades
R. flammula var. ovalis
5 Sepals 3 or 4; leaves reniform
5 Sepals 5; leaves of various shapes
6 Plants at least partially aquatic, < 5 cm high; leaves to 1 cm wide; achenes not constricted, nearly beakless
R. hyperboreus var. hyperboreus
6 Plants terrestrial, 10 – 20 cm high; leaves to 5 cm wide; achenes 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 achenes minute, achene corky-thickened towards base; plant fleshy; lower leaves petioled
R. sceleratus
8 Beaks of achenes distinct, achene not corky-thickened towards base; plants not fleshy; lower leaves more or less all sessile
9 Basal leaves entire to crenate or shallowly 3 – 5-lobed, cauline leaves cleft or divided
9 Basal leaves deeply dissected, the lobes often toothed
10 Sepals densely reddish-brown pilose in part; stems usually 1-flowered
R. nivalis
10 Sepals glabrous or white-pubescent; stems usually 2 – many-flowered
11 Fruiting heads cylindrical
11 Fruiting heads globose
12 Achenes to 150 per aggregate, finely pubescent; plants hairy; petals 5 – 9 mm long
R. glaberrimus var. ellipticus
12 Achenes to 50 per aggregate, glabrous; plants glabrous; petals 6 – 15 mm long
R. rhomboideus
13 Petals 1.5 – 3 mm long; basal leaves reniform
R. abortivus
13 Petals greater than 3 mm long; basal leaves circular or cordate
14 Flower stalks stout; petals 8 – 15 mm long; stems and leaves pilose or villose
R. cardiophyllus
14 Flower stalks slender; petals 3 – 8 mm long; stems and leaves nearly glabrous
R. inamoenus var. inamoenus
15 Achenes slightly flattened, beaks slender; receptacle in fruit 4 times its length in flower
R. pedatifidus var. affinis
15 Achenes 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 achenes ovoid to globose
R. macounii
17 Stems erect, not rooting at the nodes; petals shorter than sepals, pale yellow; sepals yellowish; heads of achenes cylindrical
R. pensylvanicus