Water Crowfoot - Ranunculus (Batrachium) spp

Scientific Name: Ranuculus (Batrachium) spp. Ranunculaceae.

English Name: Water Crowfoot. Buttercup family.

French Name: Renoncule.

Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot (no broad lobed or floating leaves, petals not touching), in l'Etang de la mer rouge, in the Brenne, May.

5 Key Characters:
  • white flowers, usually with yellow bases to the petals.
  • grow in water or mud.
  • leaves are finely divided and / or broad lobed.
  • very variable and difficult to identify to species level.
  • spread by floating downstream.

Lookalikes: There are about 11 species, several subspecies and varieties, and probably a hybrid recorded in this area:
Fan-leaved Water Crowfoot / R. circinatus / la Renoncule en crosse
Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot / R. trichophyllus / la Renoncule divariquée
Pond Water Crowfoot / R. peltatus / la Renoncule peltée
Ivy-leaved Crowfoot / R. hederaceus / la Renoncule à feuilles de lierre
Brackish Water Crowfoot / R. baudotii / la Renoncule de Baudot
Three-lobed Crowfoot / R. tripartitus / la Renoncule tripartite
Round-leaved Crowfoot / R. omiophyllus / la Renoncule de Lenormand
Common Water Crowfoot / R. aquatilisla Renoncule aquatique
Stream Water Crowfoot / R. penicillatus / la Renoncule en pinceau
River Water Crowfoot / R. fluitans / la Renoncule flottante
R. ololeucos / la Renoncule à pétales blancs (the only species with all white petals)
R. circinatus x R. fluitans

Habitat:  Mud, shallow water in track ruts, pond edges, ditches, lakes, gravel pits, riversides, still and slow moving water.

Flowering Period: April-May-June-July-August-September.

Status: Fan-leaved, Thread-leaved, Pond, River and Common all widespread. To separate them from Buttercups, Water Crowfoot are Ranunculus subgenus Batrachium. Ivy-leaved Crowfoot R. hederaceus and Three-lobed Crowfoot R. tripartitus are rare but can be conspicuous in ephemeral pools in the Touraine Loire Valley and Brenne.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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