Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Terrestrial and aquatic herbs, annual or perennial; rootstock tuberous or horizontal; roots often fibrous; stems erect, decumbent or prostrate or creeping, stoloniferous. Leaves radical and cauline, whorled or alternate on stems, often ternately lobed or dissected, sometimes into capillary segments (in aquatic forms), rarely entire, often with membranous stipular auricles. Flowers actinomorphic, solitary or few in corymbose Panicles, white or yellow. Sepals 3 - 5, green or petaloid, often caducous. Petals (honey leaves) as many as sepals or more, usually 5, each with a nectariferous pit at base. Stamens 4-many. Carpels 4-many, superior, free; style short; ovule 1, ascending. Fruit a head or spike of achenes, smooth, tubercled or spinous, compressed or inflated, apiculate or beaked.

Cosmopolitan, mostly in temperate regions and on cold tropical mountains; ca 400 species, 33 in India.

Literature. COOK, C.D.K. (1966) A monographic study of Ranunculus, subgenus Batrachium (DC.) A. Gray. Mitt. Staatss. Munchen 6: 47 - 237. MEIKLE, R. D. (1959) The Batrachian Ranunculi of the Orient. Notes R. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 23: 11 - 21.


1a. Aquatic herbs; leaves submerged and much dissected into capillary lobes (subg. Batrachium) 2
b. Terrestrial herbs, a few aquatic but with aerial laminate leaves 5
2a. Flowers yellow 10. Ranunculus flavidus
b. Flowers white 3
3a. Nectar-pit elongated 28. Ranunculus sphaerospermus
b. Nectar-pit lunate 4
4a. Achenes 60 - 90, ca 1 mm long 23. Ranunculus rionii
b. Achenes 20 - 40, 1.5 - 2 mm long 31. Ranunculus trichophyllus
5a. Herbs annual 6
b. Herbs perennial 11
6a. Achenes emarginate, smooth, not tuberculate or spinous, in cylindrical heads 26. Ranunculus scleratus
b. Achenes marginate, tubercled or spinous, in globose heads 7
7a. Achenes tubercled all over the surface 8
b. Achenes tubercled or hooked along borders only 10
8a. Flowers 1.5 - 1.8 cm across; sepals sparsely setulose 17. Ranunculus muricatus
b. FIowers less than 1.5 cm across; sepals glabrous 9
9a. Sepals shorter than petals, cuneate at base 4. Ranunculus bikramii
b. Sepals as long as petals, rounded or subcordate at base 32. Ranunculus trilobatus
10a. Redical leaves simple 2. Ranunculus arvensis
b. Redical leaves 3-partite 25. Ranunculus sardosus
11a. Leaves undivided or rarely lobed 12
b. Leaves divided or prominently lobed 14
12a. Decumbent herbs 15. Ranunculus lobatus
b. Erect herbs 13
13a. Achenes flat, pitted; flowers large, ca 3 cm wide 14. Ranunculus lingua
b. Achenes inflated, not pitted; flowers less than 1.5 cm wide 21. Ranunculus pulchellus
14a. Aquatic herbs 18. Ranunculus natans
b. Terrestrial herbs 15
15a. Achenes tubercled 16
b. Achenes not tubercled 17
16a. Leaves less than 1 cm wide, crenate; sepals nearly equalling petals 9. Ranuneulus ficariifolius
b. Leaves 3 - 4 cm wide; sepals much shorter than petals 33. Ranunculus wallichianus
17a. Achenes with intramarginal rib, strongly flattened 18
b. Achenes not margined, turgid 21
18a. Achenes dotted 19
b. Achenes not dotted 20
19a. Stems procumbent; lobes of leaves scarcely segmented 7. Ranunculus diffusus
b. Stems erect; lobes of leaves deeply divided 30. Ranunculus subpinnatus
20a. Receptacle of fruit pilose 6. Ranunculus cantoniensis
b. Receptacle of fruit glabrous 13. Ranunculus laetus
21a. Stems creeping, stoloniferous 22
b. Stems erect or decumbent 24
22a. Nectary scales forked or circular and surrounding the nectary pits; receptacles hirsute 12. Ranunculus hyperboreus
b. Nectary scales cup-shaped, laterally connate to the ventral sides of the petal lamina; receptacles glabrous 23
23a. Flowers densely covered with reddish-brown hairs on outside, 1.5 - 2.5 cm diam. 24. Ranunculus rufosepalus
b. Flowers not covered with hairs, less than 1 cm in diam. 20. Ranunculus pegaeus
24a. Rootstocks slender or small, not fibrous 25
b. Rootstocks tuberous or densely fibrous 28
25a. Leaves flabellate 8. Ranunculus felixii
b. Leaves not flabellate 26
26a. Sepals shaggy 27. Ranunculus sikkimensis
b. Sepals silky 27
27a. Herbs, 12 - 20 cm high, flaccid 1. Ranunculus adoxifolius
b. Herbs, 3 - 10 cm high, forming small mats 5. Ranunculus brotherusii
28a. Carpels glabrous 29
b. Carpels sparingly hairy to densely pubescent 30
29a. Basal leaves rotund 16. Ranunculus munronianus
b. Basal leaves linear 29. Ranunculus stewartii
30a. Radical leaves linear, deeply cut, latiniate 3. Ranunculus aucheri
b. Radical leaves broad, rotund or reniform or palmatipartite 31
31a. Lobes of radical leaves lanceolate 19. Ranunculus palmatifidus
b. Lobes of radical leaves coarsely toothed or crenate 32
32a. Stems many-flowered, rarely 1-flowered in some alpine forms 11. Ranunculus hirtellus
b. Stems 1-flowered 22. Ranunculus reniformis

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