Ranunculus eschscholtzii (Eschscholtz's Buttercup)

Scientific Name

Ranunculus acris L.

Common Names

Eschscholtz's Buttercup, Snowpatch Buttercup, Subalpine Buttercup, Mountain Buttercup


Ranunculus eschscholtzii var. eschscholtzii, Ranunculus nivalis var. eschscholtzii, Ranunculus pauperculus

Scientific Classification

Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Ranunculoideae
Tribe: Ranunculeae
Genus: Ranunculus


Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Midsummer


Ranunculus eschscholtzii is a perennial herb that produces one or more erect, up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall stems. The lower leaves have somewhat rounded blades, divided into a few lobes and borne on long petioles. Upper leaves are smaller and not borne on petioles. The herbage is hairless and sometimes waxy in texture. The inflorescence is made up of 1 to 3 flowers on narrow pedicels. The flowers have 5 to 8 oval or rounded, shiny yellow, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long petals, each around a central nectary with many stamens and pistils. Fruits are an achene borne in a cluster of 17 or more.

Ranunculus eschscholtzii - Eschscholtz's Buttercup
Photo via wikimedia.org


USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Growing Ranunculus starts with planted roots or tubers. Often called Ranunculus bulbs, tubers are different but have similar structures and purposes to the more common bulb. Plant the bulbs or tubers in fall for a glorious spring display.

Growing Ranunculus flowers requires well-drained soil and full sun for the best results. Soak the tubers and then plant them with the roots or fingers pointed downward at a depth of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm), depending on the bulbs' size.

It is an easy flower to grow. Care of Ranunculus to ensure yearly displays may require that you pull out the tubers at the end of the season. Allow the foliage to almost completely die back and then dig out the tubers. Lay them in a cool, dry place to evaporate all the moisture from the bulbs. Store the tubers in a dark location until spring and then start them indoors in pots. Replant outside when all danger of frost is passed, and the first true leaves are evident. See more at How to Grow and Care for Ranunculus.


Native to much of western North America from Arctic northwestern Canada and Alaska to California and New Mexico. It grows in meadows and talus on high mountain slopes and other open rocky habitats.


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