Spinyfruit Buttercup
(Rough Fruit Buttercup - Prickly Fruit Buttercup)
Ranunculus muricatus Linnaeus
Buttercup (Rananculaceae) Family

Spiny Buttercup is a winter annual that begins growth in November, frequently in clumps. The stems are stout, ascending to erect, freely branched. Its preferred habitat is roadside ditches (often in standing water), lawn and gardens. Distribution is throughout the Escambia Region.

The leaves form a basal rosette, also on stems. The blades are 3 to 5 lobed, cleft, smooth and fleshy.

Fruit is achene (a seed which outer layer is fused to it).

The flowers have distinct petals about 1/4 inch long. The pistils are separate and many; bisexual in nature, symmetrical in form. The pistils develop into achenes with short spines on the sides.

This plant is often confused with Indian Strawberry, Duchesnea indica. All parts of the plant are poisonous when fresh, the toxins are destroyed by heat or by drying. The plant also has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin.

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