Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A large genus of polypetalous plants, type of order Ranunculaceæ and of the tribe Ranunculeæ. It is characterized by the perfect flowers with from three to five caducous sepals, three to five or even fifteen conspicuous petals, each marked at the base by a nectar-bearing scale or pit, and by the many achenes in a head or spike, each beaked with a short persistent style. There are about 200 species, scattered throughout the world, abundant in temperate and cold regions, with a few on mountain-tops in the tropics; 15 species are British, and about 47 occur in the United States, besides at least 9 others in Alaska; 23 are found in the Atlantic States, The genus is remarkable for its development northward, extending to the Alentian Islands and Point Barrow, and even to Fort Conger. 81° 44′ north. Others extend well to the south, as the Fuegian R. biternatus. The species have usually a perennial base or rootstock, and bear deeply divided leaves, entire in a few species, and yellow or white terminal flowers (pink in R. Andersoni of Nevada), which are generally bright and showy, and have numerous and conspicuous short yellow stamens and a smaller central mass of yellow or greenish pistils. The more common species, with bright-yellow flowers and palmately divided leaves, are known as buttercup and crowfoot, especially R. acris and R. bulbosus, which have also the old local names of butter-flower, butter-daisy, blister-plant, crow-flower, and in Scotland yellow gowan. (See also
goldcup, and cut under ovary.) A number of yellow species are cultivated under the name garden ranunculus, as R. speciosus, a favorite source of cut flowers, and especially the Persian R. Asiaticus, with three-parted leaves, parent of a hundred varieties, mostly double, and including scarlet and other colors, R. aconitifolius, a tall European species with five-parted leaves, is cultivated in white double-flowered varieties under the names bachelor's-buttons and fair-maids-of-France or -of-Kent. The bright-yellow flowers of R. insignis, a densely woolly New Zealand species, are nearly 2 inches across. Several white-flowered species are remarkable for their growth in rock-crevices amid perpetual snow, especially R. glacialis of the Alps, and also the yellow-flowered R. Thora, the mountain wolf's-bane. A few weedy species have prickly fruit, as R. arcensis of England (for which see hungerweed, hedgehog, 3, and joy, 4), Many species are so acrid as to raise blisters when freshly gathered, but are sometimes eaten, when dried, by cattle, R. sceleratus, said to be the most acrid species, is eaten boiled as a salad in Wallachia, as are also the roots of R. bulbosus, the acridity disappearing on boiling, R. auricomus (see goldilocks) is exceptional in the absence of this acrid principle, as also R. aquatilis, which sometimes forms almost the entire food of cattle. This and several other species, the water-crowfoots, are immersed aquatics with finely dissected foliage, forming deep-green feathery masses which bear white emersed flowers; among them is R. Lyalii of New Zealand, one of the most ornamental species, there known as water-lily. The yellow water-crowfoot, R. multifidus, found from North Carolina to Point Barrow, has kidney-shaped and cut floating leaves. Several species with long and mainly undivided leaves are known as spearwort. For R. Ficaria, celebrated as one of the earliest English flowers, and as Wordsworth's flower, see celandine, 2, pilewort, and figwort, 2. See also cut under achenium.
- n. A plant of the genus Ranunculus.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A genus of herbs, mostly with yellow flowers, including crowfoot, buttercups, and the cultivated ranunculi (Ranunculus Asiaticus, Ranunculus aconitifolius, etc.) in which the flowers are double and of various colors.
- n. annual, biennial or perennial herbs: buttercup; crowfoot.
“The best soil for the Ranunculus is a loam or clay in which the common field Buttercup grows freely and plentifully.”
“An ecophysiological investigation of some species of Arctic temperature '' Ranunculus '' L. with respect to climate warming.”
“Misa Kelly's "Ranunculus" originally was intended as a collaboration between choreographer and solo dancer, but due to a series of mishaps, the task of dancing eventually fell to Kelly herself.”
“Increased respiration relative to photosynthesis can result in negative carbon balances, particularly in clonal plants that accumulate old tissues, for example, the cushion form ecotype ([[Introduction to Arctic Tundra and Polar Desert Ecosystems | Fig. 7.3) of purple saxifrage ( '' Saxifraga oppositifolia '' ) and some species of the herb '' Ranunculus '' .”
“In swampy areas and on the shores of glacial lakes there are cushions of Azorella crenata and rosettes of Hypochaeris sessiliflora while there are Callitriche nubigena and Ranunculus limoseloides under the water.”
“The seasonally flooded hollows are covered with sea clubrush Scirpus maritimus, bulrush Schoenoplectus lacustris, rushes Juncus sp. and crowfoot Ranunculus baudotii.”
“Only few high-arctic plants in Greenland are expected to become extinct, for example, Ranunculus sabinei, which is limited to the narrow outer coastal zone of North Greenland .”
“However, experiments with transplanting herbs between the Austrian Alps, Abisko, and Svalbard showed that allocation of biomass in some species such as glacier buttercup ( '' Ranunculus glacialis '') was affected by photoperiod and this constrained any potential increases of vigor that might have occurred due to climate warming .”
“This Spring our flowers will include hand-picked Anenomes, Narcissus, Freesia, Ranunculus and Tulips.”
“And there are many English (Dutch, German, French) names that are used for more than one plant, but although some plants have several botanical names (Ranunculus ficaria is the same as Ficaria verna…), every botanical name only points to one plant…”
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