California Native Plant Society
Tap map to see plants native to location
Add
All plants for California > Ranunculus californicus >
Please enter either the common name or the botanical name of any native California plant species to see it's plant record

Loading....
California Buttercup
  • Added Add to My Plant List
Ranunculus californicus
  

Zoom To My AddressZoom To California Estimated Plant Range



About California Buttercup (Ranunculus californicus) The California buttercup (Ranunculus californicus), a perennial herb of the Ranunculaceae family, brightens much of California (except the deserts) with 3/4 inch, remarkably glossy, deep yellow flowers, each with 9 to 17 petals. Their native habitat extends into Baja California, Oregon, and some Pacific coast islands. There are two recognized Varieties: Var californicus is widespread and the flowers rise above the basal leaves on 1 ft to 2ft branching stems. Var cuneatus is found primarily on the north-central coast and blooms from short stems, giving this variety the look of a low ground cover. By mid-summer the flowers have shed seed, and the plant is dormant. New seedlings readily volunteer in late winter to spring. Propagate easily by seed from seed companies and local exchanges. Nursery plants may occasionally be available.

For the garden, plant this buttercup in front of the border and in meadows with native annuals and bulbs, blue-eyed grass, shooting stars, woolly blue-curls, and other natives that require little, if any, supplemental summer irrigation. Buttercups are not only worthy cut flowers but also a good source of nutrition. Toast them in a frying pan briefly. Use in porridge or grind and add to baked goods. Don't miss this easy to grow and quite appealing native. Often riparian or semi-riparian in the drier parts of its range.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Annual herb

Max. Height
0.6 ft - 2.3 ft Feet (0.2 - 0.7 Mts)

Max. Width
6 Inches (15Cms)

Form
Fountain

Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Summer Deciduous

Leaves
Low, basal, broadly oval leaves, generally divided into 3 segments. Less structured distal leaves provide a soft green backdrop for the tall, sturdy flowering stems and showy flowers.

Flower Color
Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
Many and varied wet and dry places from the coast ranges to foothill grasslands to meadows and woodlands below about 7,000 ft. Often found in open areas.

Sun
Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-293' - 8087'

Annual Precip. ?
6.3" - 87.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 3.00"

Coldest Month ?
27.0° F - 56.0° F

Hottest Month ?
50.0° F - 84.0° F

Humidity ?
0.07 vpd - 34.82 vpd

Soil Description
Adaptable

Soil PH
5 - 8

Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 10° F

Sunset Zones ?
2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
Dodecatheon clevelandii (Shooting Star), Sisyrinchium bellum (blue-eyed grass), Trichostema lancolatum (wooly blue-curls)

Wildlife Attracted
A variety of insects are attracted to the flowers, especially native bees

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Pruning
Cut plant to the ground as it goes dormant in summer.

Propagation ?
Allow seed pods to dry on the plant. In late winder/spring, the seeds will sprout nicely in situ. No special treatment is needed for seeds collected for propagation offsite.

Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Common Buttercup


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X




Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address
Password

Sign In


Copyright © 1999-2014 California Native Plant Society. All rights reserved.