A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
March 23 & 24, 2001 

Page 2: Large Buttercup (Ranunculus macranthus)

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

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The stems of this flower are densely pubescent (below).

Its leaves are once or twice pinnately compound and each leaflet is stalked. The leaf stems and leaflet stalks are darkened, and each leaflet is similarly darkened both at its attachment to its stalk and in the cleft of each lobe. Individual leaflets are smooth on their upper surfaces, but densely pubescent beneath. 

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Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

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This sprawling, densely hairy plant was found near one of the fenceposts marking the boundary between the park and Fern Bluff Elementary School, at the southeast corner of the park. Dr. Hugh Wilson, Professor, Dept. of Biology, Texas A&M University, and Tim Chumley at the University of Texas, agree that it is a species of Ranunculus. Tim identified it as the Large Buttercup, R. macranthus. This is collaborated by Marshall Enquist, in his book "Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country", published in 1987, while other sources tend to apply this name to another species with five notably smaller petals. Common sense suggests that the common name Large Buttercup is more appropriate for this flower than for the other species. The species name, macranthus, seems to be derived from two Greek roots- macros (whose original meaning is "long", but by usage means "large"), and anthesis (which means "bloom"). Again, the scientific name seems most suited to our specimen. It has 12 bright yellow ray flowers, and an equally bright yellow center of disk flowers. A rosette of basal leaves radiates out from the central stems at ground level (below).