fig buttercup

Ranunculales > Ranunculaceae > Ranunculus ficaria L.
Synonym(s): lesser celandine

Fig buttercup is a short (up to 12 in. [30.5 cm]), herbaceous perennial that invades forests throughout the East, Midwest and Pacific Northwest regions of the United States. The basal leaves are dark green, shiny, kidney- to heart-shaped and vary greatly in size. Flowering occurs in March and April, when showy, bright yellow, eight-petaled flowers develop on stalks above the leaves. Flowers are up to 3 in. (7.6 cm) wide. Fig buttercup invades moist, forested floodplains. It is a spring ephemeral and grows vigorously, creating dense mats that exclude all other vegetation. Fig buttercup is a threat particularly to the native forest spring ephemerals that have to compete for light and space with this invasive. The plant is native to Europe and was first introduced into the United States as an ornamental. It is currently sold and widely planted as an ornamental.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Flower(s); close-up
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Root(s); Bulbs
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Diagram or Graphic; Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 2: 117.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Connecticut - Noxious Weed Law
  • Massachusetts - Noxious Weed Law
  • Rhode Island - Noxious Weed Law
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia