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All Species

Tall and Creeping Buttercup

Ranunculus acris, Ranunculus repens
R.Old, Bugwood.org

Why is it a problem?

  • Spreads by seed, above ground runners, and belowground horizontal roots
  • A single plant can spread over 40 square feet in one year
  • Seeds remain viable up to 20 years and spread by wind, bird droppings, animals, clothing, and equipment
  • Toxic to grazing animals
  • Found in disturbed sites, gardens, woodlands, meadows, wetlands, and waterways
  • *Note: Tall buttercup is less aggressive and only reproduces by seeds

How do I manage this plant?

  • In lawns, promote desirable, native grasses by overseeding, fertilizing, aerating, and avoid overwatering
  • Clean clothing and equipment before leaving a site with buttercups
  • Hand dig when soil is moist to avoid breaking roots—creeping buttercup can regrow from root fragments
  • Herbicide treatments are effective, but will take at least two or three applications
  • Reseed or replant with desirable plants after treatment to prevent re-infestation
  • Monitor for new growth and remove as needed

More info on species biology

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