Kidneyleaf Buttercup, Small-flowered Buttercup, Littleleaf Buttercup

Ranunculus abortivus

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ranunculus (ra-NUN-ku-lus) (Info)
Species: abortivus (a-bor-TEE-vus) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Valparaiso, Indiana

Benton, Kentucky

Brookeville, Maryland

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Leesburg, Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 23, 2012, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Kidneyleaf Buttercup is native to the U.S. It flowers March to June. Also known by the common name Littleleaf Crowfoot. Ground-foraging birds and small mammals eat the seeds. It has a slow ability to spread through seed production.

Minor skin irritation lasting minutes if touched. Skin redness, burning sensation, and blisters following contact with cell sap.


On Apr 22, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Common weed here in the woods, mostly in the sunnier locations.

There's not much to say for it, inconspicous flower, unimposing foliage.

It doesn't seem to be too invasive. However, it can poison animals and humans. Ranunculus abortivus can also cause dermatitis in individuals.


On Apr 4, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A common little field weed here in West KY. It blooms in late March/early April here and the inconspicuous little flowers are not very attractive.

Found in damp waste areas and sunny damp meadows.

The basal leaves do not resemble the leaves that are borne along the stalks.

It's range is from Alberta, west to Newfoundland, south to FL, west to TX.