Yellow or Orange Flowers
Five Petals with Maple-like Leaves )
Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae)
Habitat: Montane to Subalpine
Height: Up to 50 cm
Description: There are numerous species of buttercup in the Canadian Rockies. They are found from the montane to the subalpine, and are often confused with the various species of Potentilla. Buttercup flowers have five petals with a greenish centre, while Potentilla flowers have a yellow centre. Buttercups are also similar to Yellow Avens, however the latter has a set of leaves directly below the flowers. Buttercups lack this set of leaves.
The tall buttercup (R. acris) is our most common buttercup, and the one most are familiar with. It has several basal leaves deeply cut into 5 or 7 further dissected lobes. There may be several smaller leaves along the hairy stem. Several flowers may occur on one plant. This is a low elevation buttercup.
The western buttercup (R. occidentalis) is the most common species on the western slopes. Its leaves have only three lobes, and are heavily toothed. It is found only at low elevations.