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Pest Information

Creeping Buttercup

Creeping Buttercup

  • Latin Name: Ranunculus Repens
  • Common Name: Creeping Buttercup
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Creeping Buttercup
Creeping Buttercup


Introduced from Europe, and now widely spread across the United States.


A perennial broadleaf weed that extends its stems along the ground, and extends roots from the nodes along this stolon. Like most buttercup plants this is poisonous to livestock, but may be unpalatable and rarely eaten. Reproduction is by seed, but new plants also form from the stolons. Foliage dies back in the winter and regrowth occurs from the roots.


Mature plants stay low to the ground, with leaves forming a mat about 2 to 3 inches high. Flowers are on stalks about 3 to 4 inches high. Flowers are larger than in some other buttercups, with 5 bright yellow petals and an overall diameter of about 1 inch. Leaves have long petioles, are hairy and dark green, and are 3-lobed with very wavy or toothed margins. These lobes are not as deeply cut as with Tall buttercup or Bulbous buttercup, in which the cuts extend to the midvein.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

A perennial weed common in turf, where a selective herbicide can be effective. A perennial, reproducing from seed but re-growing from roots. If physical removal is attempted care must be taken to remove all stem and root segments, or these will allow regrowth. Creeping buttercup grows best in areas of high moisture. Proper watering practices will reduce its vigor, and healthy, thick turf will compete with the weed to prevent it from establishing itself.

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