Yellow water crowfoot is a native aquatic herb found in quiet water in swamp forests, woodland pools, shallow or deep marshes with water depths to 2 m.
Origin of the Name: Ranunculus, L. diminutive of rana, little frog, refers to the amphibious habitat; flabellaris: L. flabellum, a fan, refers to the fan-shaped leaves.
Range: ME to B.C., south to LA
WI Range: Statewide except the Driftless Area
Common associates: Arrowhead, bluejoint grass, bladderwort, floating-leaved pondweed
Wetland Indicator Status: OBL
Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 7 (S&W), C = 10 (MI)
It blooms from May to June. Like most buttercups,
the flowers have 5 petals with a shiny surface and many stamens. The flowers are 2-3 cm across on long thick stalks. The seeds, achenes about 2 mm, have a conspicuous corky keel.
Leaves are alternate
and highly variable. Submersed leaves are finely dissected with flattened segments 1-2 mm wide (upper left corner of bottom photo); plants stranded on damp shores have leaves less finely dissected; emerged
leaves, when present, are 3-lobed.
The leaf segments of Yellow water crowfoot are flat in section, while those of the similar White water crowfoot (R. longirostris) are round.
This distinguishes sterile specimens.