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Ranunculus bulbosus

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Ranunculus bulbosus, commonly known as St. Anthony's turnip<ref>Template:PLANTS</ref> or bulbous buttercup, is a perennial member of the buttercup family. It has attractive yellow flowers, and deeply divided, three-lobed long-petioled basal leaves. Bulbous buttercup is known to form tufts.

Growth

The “Bulb” of the Bulbous Buttercup

The stems are 20–60 cm tall, erect, branching, and slightly hairy flowering.<ref name=Uva1997>RH Uva, JC Neal and JM Ditomaso (1997) Weeds of The Northeast, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. pp. 294-295</ref> There are alternate and sessile leaves on the stem. The flower forms at the apex of the stems, and is shiny and yellow with 5–7 petals.<ref name=Uva1997 /> The flowers are 1.5–3 cm wide. The plant blooms from April to July.

Etymology

The bulbous buttercup gets its name from its distinctive perennating organ, a bulb-like swollen underground stem or corm, which is situated just below the soil surface. After the plant dies in heat of summer, the corm survives underground through the winter.<ref name=Coles1973>S Coles (1973) Ranunculus bulbosus L in Europe. Watsonia 9: 207-228</ref><ref name=Sarukhan1974>J Sarukhan (1974) Studies on plant demography: Ranunculus repens L., R. bulbosus L. and R. acris L.: II. Reproductive strategies and seed population dynamics. The Journal of Ecology: 151-177</ref> Although the presence of a corm distinguishes Ranunculus bulbosus from some other species of buttercup such as Ranunculus acris, the species also has distinctive reflexed sepals.

Other names for the bulbous buttercup are "Goldcup" because of the colour and shape of the leaves, and "Frogs-foot" from their form.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

Cultivation and uses

Distribution

Bulbous buttercup grows in lawns, pastures and fields in general, preferring nutrient-poor, well-drained soils. Although it doesn't generally grow in proper crops or improved grassland, it is often found in hay fields<ref>Bulbous Buttercup: Ranunculus bulbosus</ref> and in coastal grassland. The native range of Ranunculus bulbosus is Western Europe between about 60°N and the Northern Mediterranean coast. It grows in both the eastern and western parts of North America as an introduced weed.<ref>Weed management</ref>

Chemical constituents

This plant, like other buttercups, contains the toxic glycoside ranunculin. It is avoided by livestock when fresh, but when the plant dries the toxin is lost, so hay containing the plant is safe for animal consumption.<ref name=Uva1997 />

References

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External links

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