buttercup


buttercup
/but"euhr kup'/, n.
any of numerous plants of the genus Ranunculus, having glossy yellow flowers and deeply cut leaves.
[1505-15; BUTTER + CUP, from color and shape of flower]

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Any of about 250 species of herbaceous flowering plants constituting the genus Ranunculus of the family Ranunculaceae.

Buttercups are especially common in the woods and fields of the northern temperate zone. The turban, or Persian buttercup (R. asiaticus), is the florist's ranunculus. Among the many wild species are the tall meadow buttercup (R. acris) and common water crowfoot (R. aquatilis). Other members of the family Ranunculaceae are widely distributed in all temperate and subtropical regions. In the tropics they occur mostly at high elevations. Their leaves are usually alternate and stalkless and may be simple or much divided. The flowers may be radially symmetrical or irregular. The family includes such flowers as anemone, larkspur, marsh marigold, clematis, and hepatica (genus Hepatica).

Aquatic buttercup (Ranunculus flabellaris)

(Top) Kitty Kohout from Root Resources, (bottom) Frances V. Davis

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plant
also called  Crowfoot,  
 any of about 250 species of herbaceous flowering plants constituting the genus Ranunculus of the family Ranunculaceae. Buttercups are distributed throughout the world and are especially common in woods and fields of the North Temperate Zone.

      Most buttercups have tuberous or fibrous roots and solitary or loosely clustered flowers with five green sepals, five glossy yellow (sometimes white) petals, and numerous male and female structures (stamens and pistils).

      The turban, or Persian buttercup (R. asiaticus), is the florist's ranunculus; usually the double-flowered form R. asiaticus Superbissimus is grown for the winter trade. Among the many wild species are the tall meadow buttercup (R. acris), native to Eurasia but widely introduced elsewhere; the swamp buttercup (R. septentrionalis) of eastern North American wetlands; and the Eurasian creeping buttercup, or butter daisy (R. repens), widely naturalized in America. Both the pond crowfoot (R. peltatus) and common water crowfoot (R. aquatilis) have broad-leaved floating leaves and finely dissected submerged leaves.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms: