Sp. Pl. 1: 551. 1753.
Stems erect, glabrous, rooting at base, only very rarely rooting at proximal nodes. Leaves basal and cauline, basal and proximal cauline leaf blades reniform to semicircular in outline, 3-lobed or -parted, 1-5 × 1.6-6.8 cm, base truncate to cordate, segments usually again lobed or parted, sometimes undivided, margins crenate or crenate-lobulate, apex rounded or occasionally obtuse. Flowers: receptacle pubescent or glabrous; sepals 3-5, reflexed from or near base, 2-5 × 1-3 mm, glabrous or sparsely hirsute; petals 3-5, 2-5 × 1-3 mm; nectary on petal surface, scale poorly developed and forming crescent-shaped or circular ridge surrounding but not covering nectary; style absent. Heads of achenes ellipsoid or cylindric heads, 5-13 × 3-7 mm; achenes 1-1.2 × 0.8-1 mm, glabrous; beak deltate, usually straight, 0.1 mm.
Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., N.S., N.W.T., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon, Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., D.C., Del., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Mass., Md., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., N.C., N.Dak., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., Nebr., Nev., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Va., Vt., W.Va., Wash., Wis., Wyo., Eurasia
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).
Ranunculus sceleratus varieties were used by the Thompson Indians as a poison for their arrow points (D. E. Moerman 1986).
|1||Faces of achene with fine transverse wrinkles; leaf blades lobed or parted, segments undivided or lobed, margins crenate.||Ranunculus sceleratus var. sceleratus|
|1||Faces of achene smooth; leaf blades always parted (often deeply so), segments lobed or parted, margins deeply crenate or lobulate.||Ranunculus sceleratus var. multifidus|