T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Ranunculus acris (Giant buttercup)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(unranked):        Angiosperms
(unranked):        Eudicots
Order:       Ranunculales
Family:      Ranunculaceae
Genus:      Ranunculus
Species:     R. acris
Binomial name: Ranunculus acris
Synonyms: Ranunculus acer, Ranunculus stevenii
Common name: Giant buttercup, Meadow buttercup Tall buttercup.

Ranunculus acris is a species of flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae, and is one of the more common buttercups across Europe and temperate Eurasia. The plant is an introduced species across much of the world.

In New Zealand it is a serious pasture weed costing the dairy industry hundreds of millions of dollars. It has become one of the few pasture weeds that has developed a resistance to the phenoxy herbicides. It is a weed of pastures, roadsides and waste places in high rainfall areas. Cattle will not eat it but can be controlled by sheep.
It can grow up to 1m tall and from late spring to April it has yellow buttercup flowers. The distinctive hairy leaves have deeply divided margins.