bulbous buttercup flower

Bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus)

Updated: July 26, 2021

Life cycle

Bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus) is a non-native perennial plant that blooms in spring to early summer.

Growth habit

Forms a basal rosette of 3-lobed leaves, arising from a corm. Flowers are bright yellow with 5-7 shiny petals arising from erect, somewhat hairy stems. Tall and creeping buttercup are also seen but less common.


By seed but corms can overwinter.

bulbous roots of buttercup
Bulbous roots (corms)

Conditions that favor growth

Unfertilized, poor soil.

Management in lawns

Cultural lawn care practices

Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.

Mechanical management

Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.

Chemical treatment in lawns 

Herbicides should be used as a last resort because of the potential risks to people, animals, and the environment. Be aware of these precautions first. 

If you chose this option, spot treat weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when weeds are actively growing. Look for a product with one or more of the following active ingredients: 2, 4-D, MCPP (mecoprop), Dicamba* or Triclopyr.

*Do not spray herbicides containing dicamba over the root zone of trees and shrubs. Roots can absorb the product possibly causing plant damage. Refer to the product label for precautions.