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Celery-leaved Buttercup - Ranunculus sceleratus is a poisonous plant

Celery-leaved Buttercup - Ranunculus sceleratus
Family - Ranunculaceae
Also known as - Cursed Buttercup and Cursed Crowfoot

This plant is poisonous

Celery-leaved Buttercup is a widespread and common annual plant with an open form growing to 50cm (19.5in) with glabrous light green glossy leaves on stalks arising from the stem nodes, the lower leaves are divided into Palmate lobed, three notched leaflets whilst higher up the plant the leaves become more lanceolate.  The stems are very stout, hairless and hollow.  It has a circumpolar distribution in the northern hemisphere and is native to North America and Eurasia growing in wet and moist habitats, including ponds and stream sides.  Tiny yellow shiny flowers in branched clusters are seen from May to September, 5-10mm (0.2-0.4in) across with five or less petals each a few millimeters long and reflexed sepals.

Celery-leaved Buttercup will grow in shallow water, muddy areas, ditches, stream banks, coastal wetlands and similar wet places, it will continue to grow in the more ephemeral wet areas when they dry out.  The clusters of small yellow flowers mature to a single elongated knobbly achene reminiscent of a small elongated Blackberry but Yellow.  Common in central, southern and eastern England, scarcer in other areas of the UK.

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Celery-leaved Buttercup - Ranunculus sceleratus is eaten or used as an herbal remedy.   Celery-leaved Buttercup is not edible, poisonous, and generally held to be the most toxic in the Ranunculaceae family.  Buttercups in general are toxic due to their containing Protoanemonin, also called Anemonol or Ranunculol, a substance found in the plants of the Ranunculaceae family.  When the plant is damaged or eaten a glucoside in the plant, Ranunculin, is broken down by an enzyme reaction into Glucose and Protoanemonin.  Sap from the plant can give rise to unsightly sores and blisters on skin.

Celery-leaved Buttercup - Ranunculus sceleratus, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse CCASA3.0
Photo ©2013 Ivar Leidus
Celery-leaved Buttercup - Ranunculus sceleratus, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse CCASA2.0
Photo ©2007 Jörg Hempel
Celery-leaved Buttercup - Ranunculus sceleratus, click for a larger image, public domain
Photo ©1926 Carl Lindman

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