Appearance''Ranunculus lappaceus'' grows as a perennial herb which grows anywhere to 50 cm high. The yellow five-petaled flowers are up to 4 cm wide and appear in spring and summer. The new growth is hairy.
NamingJames Edward Smith described it in 1815, and it still bears its original name. It is a member of the large cosmopolitan genus ''Ranunculus'', known as buttercups. The species name is Latin "with burrs".
DistributionThe range is across Eastern Australia, from Queensland, though New South Wales and Victoria and into South Australia, as well as Tasmania. In Western Australia, it is replaced by the similar species ''R. colonorum'', which has recurved sepals. The latter species has been misidentified as ''R. lappaceus''.
HabitatHeavy moisture-retentive soils are the main habitat. In the Sydney region, ''R. lappaceus'' grows on alluvial or clay-based soils on Wianamatta Shale or basalt in open forest, with such trees as mountain blue gum, ribbon gum, forest red gum or prickly paperbark. ''R. lappaceus'' is found from sea level to an altitude of 1,200 m, and the annual rainfall of the area it occurs in the Sydney Basin is 700–1,200 mm.
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