Meadow Buttercup - Ranunculus acris


Medium to tall plant usually hairy. Basal leaves deeply divided into 3 to 7 narrow wedge shaped segments, each toothed or lobed. Stem leaves similar but smaller. Flowers golden yellow 15 to 25 mm with erect sepals. Stalks beneath the flowers smooth and rounded, not ribbed, and is hollow.

Similar Species

Often confused with R bulbosus and R repens; all are common in grasslands

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Basal leaves are palmate (this distinguishes it from R repens and R bulbosus).  Sepals not turned down the stalk.

Recording advice

Photos of basal leaves and sepals (a side-on view of flower, not 'full face') 


Damp meadows and pastures various grassy places.

When to see it

April to September.

Life History


UK Status

Very common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 594 of the 617 tetrads.  It is listed as Native and Locally Abundant in the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map