Ranunculus hispidus

Common Names: Bristly buttercup
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Buttercup family

Perennial wildflower, up to 1 foot tall; it has a tendency to sprawl with age. The stems are light green to pale reddish brown and more or less covered with long spreading hairs. Both basal and alternate leaves are produced; like the stems, their petioles are covered with long spreading hairs. Sometimes, the petioles are as long or longer than the compound blades of the leaves. The leaf blades are usually trifoliate (divided into 3 leaflets). The leaflets are up to 4 inches long and across and usually cleft into 3 lobes. The margins of the leaflets are irregularly dentate. The terminal leaflet has a short petiolule (short stalk) at its base, while the lateral leaflets are either sessile or they have even shorter petiolules. The upper leaves are smaller in size than the basal leaves and their leaflets are often lack lobes. Occasionally, solitary flowers are produced on long hairy stalks. These flowers are about 0.75 to 1 inch across, consisting of 5 shiny yellow petals, 5 light green sepals, a dense cluster of pale yellowish green pistils, and a ring of numerous stamens with yellow anthers. Toward the center of each flower, the petals become semi-translucent and each petal has several fine lines that function as nectar guides. The sepals are hairy and lanceolate in shape; they are shorter than the petals. The blooming period occurs from mid-to-late spring and lasts about a month. Each flower produces several flattened achenes with long beaks; these achenes are up to 3.5 mm in length.

Found in upland woodlands, wooded slopes, and bluffs where oak trees are often present.

Edible Notes: Poisonous.
Warnings: The foliage is toxic to mammals (including humans). Like other buttercups, the sap may potentially cause blistering.