Ranunculus reconditus

Common Names:
obscure buttercup
A. Nels. & J.F. Macbr.
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs

The conservation of Ranunculus reconditus is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.


First of all, there are very few populations of Ranunculus reconditus. Secondly, although the species is listed as Endangered by the State of Oregon and Threatened by the State of Washington, only one piece of land is officially protected due to where the populations are located. Populations on the Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve in Washington are the only sites officially (legally) protected from grazing and development. Other populations, while not protected by law, have been voluntarily protected. In Oregon, one large population was once on private land that was managed by The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy purchased the land, and then sold it to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who now manages it. This population is monitored annually and appears stable. The land is on a grazing allotment, but because of the steep, rocky terrain where the buttercup lives, grazing does not impact the plants at this site (Ron Halvorson, pers. comm.).

The Obscure buttercup resembles the common, widespread sagebrush buttercup, Ranunculus glaberrimus. The common species has entire or broadly lobed leaves, while the rare Ranunculus reconditus has dissected leaves (divided into three sections). It is unknown why these plants, that look so much alike and are closely related, have such different distributions. R. glaberrimus is found in ponderosa pine woodlands and sagebrush desert from British Columbia to northern California, New Mexico, and as far east as the Dakotas and Nebraska. In contrast, Ranunculus reconditus is found at only 10 occurrences along the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research