Ranunculus repens

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaRanunculaceaeRanunculusRanunculus repens


A perennial herb with creeping stems, R. repens has a very wide ecological tolerance, but is most typical of disturbed habitats on damp or wet nutrient-rich soils, including woodland rides, ditch sides, farm gateways, gardens and waste ground. It also occurs in damp or periodically flooded grasslands, in dune-slacks and on lake shores. It is absent from very acidic soils. Generally lowland, but reaching 1035 m on Snowdon (Caerns.).



World Distribution

Eurasian Boreo-temperate element, but naturalised in N. America so distribution is now Circumpolar Boreo-temperate.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 7

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1105

Life form information

Height (cm): 60

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Far-creeping by stolons in illuminated medium

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2784

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 983

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.55

Weighted Changed Factor: -51

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (20b)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Harper JL
1957.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 61. Ranunculus acris L. (pp. 289-314), Ranunculus repens L. (pp. 314-325), Ranunculus bulbosus L. (pp. 325-342). Journal of Ecology. 45:289-342.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1989)
Lovett-Doust J, Lovett-Doust L, Groth AT
1990.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 95. Ranunculus repens L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70:1123-1141.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.