Buttercup Family

Mostly perennial herbs, occasionally woody climbers or aquatic plants. Rootstock often elongated, rhizomatous or forming a storage tuber. Leaves simple or compound in a basal rosette or alternate, occasionally opposite, often deeply divided or palmately lobed. Leaf stalks forming a stem clasping base; stipules mostly absent. Flowers bisexual, terminal, solitary or in clusters, parts mostly spirally arranged. Perianth of 3 or more free petals with a nectary at the base or tip, sometimes with sepals too (Helleborus). Stamens mostly many, rarely 5, free. Carpels mostly numerous, free. Ovary superior, containing 1-many ovules. Fruit a follicle or achene, rarely berry-like; seeds 1-many.

Rarely cultivated genera include: Actaea L., Baneberry, which has berry-like fruits and pinnate leaves (grown for the berries) mainly as A. rubra (Aiton) Willd., Red Baneberry, from N America; Xanthorhiza Marshall, a genus of 1 species X. simplicissima Marsh.,Yellow Wood, from E America, a shrub grown as a ground cover and living up to its common name; Eranthis Salisb. is sometimes available as the yellow flowered E. hyemalis (L.) Salisb., Winter Aconite, a small tuberous perennial from Eurasia.

Herbs; leaf stalks mostly with a stem clasping base; carpels mostly numerous, free; stamens attached just below the carpels.

56 genera and about 2100 species, cosmopolitan but mostly in cold temperate regions and centred in the northern hemisphere.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Ranunculaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Ranunculanae
order      Ranunculales
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus        Aconitum L.
genus        Actaea
genus        Anemone L.
genus        Aquilegia L.
genus        Cimicifuga L.
genus        Clematis L.
genus        Consolida (DC.) Gray
genus        Delphinium L.
genus        Ficaria
genus        Helleborus L.
genus        Nigella L.
genus        Pulsatilla Mill.
genus        Ranunculus L.
genus        Semiaquilegia Makino
genus        Thalictrum L.
genus        Trollius L.