Ranunculus harveyi (Gray) Britt. - Harvey's Buttercup
Family - Ranunculaceae
Stems - To +/-20cm tall, multiple from base, from fleshy roots, pilose below, glabrous above, hollow, herbaceous, erect, branching.
Leaves - Basal leaves long-petiolate. Petioles to +7cm long, glabrous. Blades reniform to rotund, glabrous, crenate, green above, silvery green below, +/-3cm broad, +/-2.5cm long. Lower leaves becoming trifoliolate and with pilose petioles. Blades with a few pilose hairs. Upper leaves short-petiolate to sessile, trifoliolate. Lobes spatulate, pilose, green above, silvery green below, with evident venation below.
Inflorescence - Single axillary flowers in the upper stems. Pedicels to +/-2.5cm long, glabrous, erect.
Flowers - Petals yellow, +/-7mm long, 3.1mm broad, glabrous, rounded to emarginate at apex, obovate to oblanceolate. Stamens many. Filaments yellow, -2mm long, glabrous. Anthers yellow, 1mm long. Achenes green, glabrous. Sepals 5, 3mm long, rotund, pilose externally, glabrous internally, cupped, with scarious margins, typically with some reddish tinge externally.
Flowering - March - May.
Habitat - Rocky acidic ground of woods, bluffs, slopes, outcrops, and ridges.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This little species is found in the lower half of Missouri. The plant is one of the easier members of the genus to ID when in flower because it is small, grows in dry rocky areas, and has distinctive leaves which are undivided at the base and become divided further up the stem. This species may be confused with R. abortivus L., but the latter is generally taller and has much smaller flowers.
Photographs taken in the Piney Creek Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Barry County, MO., 4-4-04.