bulbous buttercup flower

Bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus)

Updated: March 2, 2023

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

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

Lawn Care

Mechanical management

Hand pulling using an appropriate weeding tool that digs deep into the soil so that all of the bulbs are removed is the best way to control this weed. 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. 

Manage Weeds Without Chemicals

Chemical treatment in lawns 

If you choose this option, spot treat the weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when it is actively growing in the spring. 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.

Lawn Herbicides for Weed Control