Ranunculus

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Ranunculales
Familia: Ranunculaceae
Subfamilia: Ranunculoideae
Tribus: Ranunculeae
Genus: Ranunculus
Subgenera: R. subg. Batrachium - R. subg. Crymodes - R. subg. Ranunculus
Species: R. abortivus - R. aconitifolius - R. acriformis - R. acris - R. adoneus - R. aestivalis - R. alismifolius - R. allegheniensis - R. allenii - R. ambigens - R. amphitrichus - R. andersonii - R. anemoneus - R. aquatilis - R. arizonicus - R. arvensis - R. asiaticus - R. auricomus - R. austrooreganus - R. bonariensis - R. bulbosus - R. bullatus - R. bupleuroides - R. californicus - R. cantoniensis - R. canus - R. cardiophyllus - R. carpaticus - R. chinensis - R. circinatus - R. coloradensis - R. cordiger - R. cortusifolius - R. cymbalaria - R. eastwoodianus - R. eschscholtzii - R. eximius - R. fascicularis - R. ficaria - R. ficariifolius - R. flabellaris - R. flagelliformis - R. flammula - R. glaberrimus - R. glacialis - R. gmelinii - R. gormanii - R. gramineus - R. harveyi - R. hawaiensis - R. hebecarpus - R. hederaceus - R. hexasepalus - R. hispidus - R. hydrocharoides - R. hyperboreus - R. inamoenus - R. japonicus - R. jovis - R. kamchaticus - R. kamtschaticus - R. karelinii - R. lanuginosus - R. lappaceus - R. lapponicus - R. laxicaulis - R. lingua - R. lobbii - R. longirostris - R. lyallii - R. macauleyi - R. macounii - R. macranthus - R. marginatus - R. mauiensis - R. micranthus - R. monroi - R. montanus - R. muelleri - R. multifidus - R. muricatus - R. natans - R. nivalis - R. occidentalis - R. omiophyllus - R. ophioglossifolius - R. oreogenes - R. oresterus - R. orthorhynchus - R. pacificus - R. pallasii - R. parviflorus - R. pedatifidus - R. peltatus - R. penicillatus - R. pensylvanicus - R. petiolaris - R. platensis - R. plebeius - R. populago - R. praemorsus - R. pusillus - R. pygmaeus - R. ranceorum - R. ranunculinus - R. recurvatus - R. repens - R. reptans - R. rhomboideus - R. rupestris - R. sabinei - R. sardous - R. sceleratus - R. suksdorfii - R. sulphureus - R. trichophyllus - R. trilobus - R. triternatus - R. turneri - R. uncinatus - R. verecundus

Name

Ranunculus L.

Synonyms

* Hecatonia Lour., Fl. Cochinch. 291, 302. 1790.
* Ranula Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon sér. 2, 16: 324. 1868.
* Thora Hill, Brit. Herb. 29. 1756.
* Thora Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon sér. 2, 16: 325. 1868, nom. illeg. non Hill (1756).

Vernacular names
Internationalization
Česky: Pryskyřník
Dansk: Ranunkel
Deutsch: Hahnenfuß
English: Buttercup
Esperanto: Ranunkolo
Français: Renoncule
עברית: נורית
Magyar: Boglárkafélék
日本語: ラナンキュラス
Lietuvių: Vėdrynas
Nederlands: Boterbloem
‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Soleier
Polski: Jaskier
Русский: Лютик
Suomi: Leinikit
Svenska: Smörblommor
Türkçe: Düğün çiçeği, Yağçanağı
Walon: Ranonke

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Ranunculus (pronounced /ræˈnʌŋkjʊləs/)[1] is a large genus of about 400 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae, which includes the buttercups, spearworts, water crowfoots and the lesser celandine (but not the greater celandine of the poppy family Papaveraceae).

They are mostly herbaceous perennials with bright yellow or white flowers (if white, still with a yellow centre); some are annuals or biennials. A few have orange or red flowers and occasionally, as in R. auricomus, petals may be absent. The petals are often highly lustrous, especially in yellow species. Buttercups usually flower in April or May but flowers may be found throughout the summer especially where the plants are growing as opportunistic colonisers, as in the case of garden weeds.

The Water crowfoots (Ranunculus subgenus Batrachium), which grow in still or running water, are sometimes treated in a separate genus Batrachium. They have two different leaf types, thread-like leaves underwater and broader floating leaves although for some species, such as R. aquatilis, a third, intermediate leaf form occurs.

Ranunculus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Hebrew Character and Small Angle Shades. Some species are popular ornamental flowers in horticulture, with many cultivars selected for large and brightly coloured flowers.
Naming

The name Ranunculus is Late Latin for "little frog," from rana "frog" and a diminutive ending. This probably refers to many species being found near water, like frogs.

In the interior of the Pacific Northwest of the United States the buttercup is called "Coyote’s eyes" — ʔiceyéeyenm sílu in Nez Perce and spilyaynmí áčaš in Sahaptin. In the legend Coyote was tossing his eyes up in the air and catching them again when Eagle snatched them. Unable to see, Coyote made eyes from the buttercup.

Toxicity

All Ranunculus species are poisonous when eaten fresh by cattle, horses, and other livestock, but their acrid taste and the blistering of the mouth caused by their poison means they are usually left uneaten. Poisoning can occur where buttercups are abundant in overgrazed fields where little other edible plant growth is left, and the animals eat them out of desperation. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, excessive salivation, colic, and severe blistering of the mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. When Ranunculus plants are handled, naturally occurring ranunculin is broken down to form protoanemonin, which is known to cause contact dermatitis in humans and care should therefore be exercised in excessive handling of the plants[1]. The toxins are degraded by drying, so hay containing dried buttercups is safe.

Sardonic

The term sardonic (sardanios), "bitter or scornful laughter", is often cited as deriving from the name of the Sardinian plant Ranunculus sardous, known as either σαρδάνη (sardanē) or σαρδόνιον (sardonion). When eaten, it would cause the eater's face to contort in a look resembling scorn (generally followed by death). It might also be related to σαίρω (sairō) "I grin".
Notes

1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607


References

* "GRIN Species Records of Ranunculus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/splist.pl?10248. Retrieved 2008-01-08.

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