Herb: Pennsylvania Buttercup

Latin name: Ranunculus pennsylvanicus

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Medicinal use of Pennsylvania Buttercup:

The plant is rubefacient. It is used to raise blisters.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Wet meadows, alluvium, ditches etc.

Edible parts of Pennsylvania Buttercup:

Leaves - cooked. The leaves contain toxins but in too low a concentration to be harmful.

Other uses of the herb:

The entire plant can be boiled to yield a red dye. It is mixed with the bark of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) which acts to fix the colour. The entire plant can be boiled with rushes (Juncus spp) or flags (Iris spp and Acorus calamus) to colour them yellow for use in making mats, baskets etc.

Propagation of Pennsylvania Buttercup:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Wet meadows, alluvium, ditches etc.

Known hazards of Ranunculus pennsylvanicus:

Although no specific record of toxicity has been found for this plant, many if not all members of this genus are poisonous. These toxins can be destroyed by heat or by drying. Many if not all plants in this genus also have a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.