What plant is that?

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  Cursed Crowfoot Plant  Cursed Crowfoot flowers

Cursed Crowfootflower stalk  Cursed Crowfoot recepticle
Photo credits: © Francis R. Underwood 2015

This month’s mystery plant is an annual with hollow, fleshy stems and many small yellow flowers. The flowers have five regular parts and are about 2/8-3/8” wide. The petals are yellow and spreading while the sepals are bent downwards. The leaves are alternate and 3-lobed with the lobes being further divided. The entire plant is about 4-20” tall. This plant grows in wet places and in Rhode Island it can be found mostly along tidal river shores. It blooms from May to September and is Rare in RI. It has periodical small population explosions where 100 or more plants may be found along a small section of a river shoreline as was the case in 2003.

A further clue to the identification of this plant;
The second part of the Latin name (specific epithet) of this plant when translated into English refers to the habitat where this plant grows, i.e. “vile” or “cursed”.

It’s. . .

Botanical Name:
Ranunculus sceleratus var. sceleratus
Common Name:
  Cursed Crowfoot
  Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
  Shores of tidal rivers and wet ditches

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