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Ranunculus flammula - L.

Common Name Lesser Spearwort, Greater creeping spearwort
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are poisonous when fresh, the toxins are destroyed by heat or by drying[4, 10, 19, 21, 65]. The plant also has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin[65, 183].
Habitats Common in wet places throughout Britain[4].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, to temperate Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Ranunculus flammula Lesser Spearwort, Greater creeping spearwort


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Ranunculus flammula Lesser Spearwort, Greater creeping spearwort
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ranunculus flammula is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from May to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies, bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The whole plant is strongly rubefacient[4]. A tincture of the plant is used to cure ulcers[4].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of boggy soils and shallow water, it prefers a loamy soil and a sunny position. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. This plant does not really need any encouragement. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Ranunculus acrisMeadow Buttercup, Tall buttercup, Showy buttercupPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNMWe120
Ranunculus aquatilisWater Crowfoot, White water crowfootAnnual/Perennial0.0 4-8  LMHSNMWeWa11 
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Ranunculus bulbosusBulbous Buttercup, St. Anthony's turnipPerennial0.3 0-0 FLMHSNM120
Ranunculus californicusCalifornia ButtercupPerennial0.6 6-9  LMHSNM10 
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Ranunculus ficariaLesser Celandine - Pilewort, Fig buttercupPerennial0.2 0-0 FLMHSNM120
Ranunculus hirtus Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM01 
Ranunculus inamoeusGraceful ButtercupPerennial0.3 -  LMHSNM10 
Ranunculus japonicusMao GenPerennial0.1 -  LMHSNM11 
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Ranunculus muricatusRough-Seed Buttercup, Spinyfruit buttercupAnnual0.3 0-0  LMHSNM01 
Ranunculus nipponicus Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNWeWa10 
Ranunculus occidentalisWestern ButtercupPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM10 
Ranunculus pallasiiButtercup, Pallas' buttercupPerennial0.1 0-0  LMHSNMWe10 
Ranunculus pennsylvanicusPennsylvania ButtercupAnnual/Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNMWe11 
Ranunculus quelpaertensis Perennial0.6 -  LMHSNMWe10 
Ranunculus repensCreeping Buttercup, Prairie Double-flowered Buttercup, Water Buttercup, Creeping ButtercupPerennial0.3 3-8 FLMHSNM110
Ranunculus reptansCreeping SpearwortPerennial0.2 - FLMHSNMWe10 
Ranunculus rivularis Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM01 
Ranunculus sceleratusCelery-Leaved Buttercup, Cursed buttercupPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHSNMWeWa11 
Ranunculus tachreoi Perennial1.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Ranunculus ternatus Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM01 

 

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Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

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Readers comment

   Jan 25 2016 12:00AM

Due to the blistering this plant causes, in mediaeval times it was rubbed onto the skin by beggars to make themselves look sickly, eliciting sympathy, or perhaps their marks would pay up quicker to expedite their departure for fear of infection.

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