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Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot

Ranunculus trichophyllus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Life Cycle:
Annual or Perennial
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Ditches, mud, ponds, water.

White, 5 petals
White, buttercup-like flowers with yellow centres. Flowers are 7 to 12mm in size.
The fruit is a roundish or oval seedhead.
The leaves are thread-like with stiff segments. All leaves are underwater. Annual.
Other Names:
Hairy Buttercup, Hairy Crowfoot, Threadleaf Crowfoot.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Ranunculus trichophyllus, also known as hairy buttercup or hairy crowfoot, is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family. It is native to Europe and can be found in a variety of habitats, including woods, meadows, and marshes. The plant has hairy, green leaves and small, yellow flowers with 5 petals that bloom in the spring and summer. The flowers and leaves of R. trichophyllus are toxic to animals and can cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested. However, the plant is sometimes used in traditional medicine to treat skin conditions and wounds.


Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot (Ranunculus trichophyllus) is a species of flowering plant in the Ranunculus family. This aquatic plant is native to Europe and Asia, and can be found growing in still or slow-moving bodies of water, such as ponds, lakes, and ditches.

One of the most distinctive features of Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is its delicate, thread-like leaves. The leaves are elongated, thin, and slightly curved, giving the plant a distinctive and attractive appearance. They are typically about 10 cm in length and are arranged in a rosette pattern at the base of the stem.

In addition to its striking foliage, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is also notable for its bright yellow flowers. The flowers have five petals and are typically 2-3 cm in diameter, making them easily visible above the water's surface. They bloom in the spring and summer months, providing a vibrant pop of color in the aquatic environment.

Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is an important plant for many aquatic ecosystems. It provides habitat and food for a variety of aquatic organisms, including insects, fish, and amphibians. The plant is also an important source of oxygen for the aquatic environment, as it uses photosynthesis to produce oxygen.

In addition to its ecological importance, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is also of cultural significance. It has been used in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes, including the treatment of skin conditions and as a mild sedative. In some cultures, it is also considered a symbol of good luck and is often used in floral arrangements.

Despite its importance, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is considered a vulnerable species in some areas due to habitat loss and degradation. It is important to protect and conserve the remaining populations of this plant to ensure its survival in the future.

Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is a unique and fascinating plant that plays a crucial role in aquatic ecosystems. Its delicate leaves and bright yellow flowers make it a beautiful addition to any pond or lake, while its ecological and cultural significance make it a valuable species to protect and conserve.

In terms of its growth and care, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is a hardy and low-maintenance plant that is well-suited to life in the aquatic environment. It prefers still or slow-moving bodies of water with a muddy or sandy substrate, and can grow in both full sun and partial shade.

To propagate Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot, simply plant the seeds in the mud or sand at the bottom of the pond or lake. It is also possible to divide the rosettes in spring or early summer and transplant them to a new location. It is important to note that while this plant is hardy and can withstand some environmental stress, it is also important to avoid disturbing its habitat too much, as this can have a negative impact on the plant's health and survival.

In summary, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is a beautiful and ecologically important species that is well-suited to life in the aquatic environment. With its delicate leaves and bright yellow flowers, it is a great addition to any pond or lake, and with proper care and protection, it can continue to thrive for generations to come.

Aside from its ornamental value, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is also of interest to scientists and ecologists. The plant is used as an indicator species to assess the health and quality of aquatic ecosystems. For example, the presence of Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot can be an indicator of clean and unpolluted water, as the plant is sensitive to changes in water chemistry and quality.

Furthermore, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is a valuable resource for the study of plant biology and ecology. Its unique adaptations to life in the aquatic environment, such as its ability to produce oxygen through photosynthesis and its delicate leaves that are adapted to life in the water, make it a fascinating subject of study.

In addition to its scientific value, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is also an important resource for the study of traditional medicine and the use of plants in traditional healing practices. The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine, and its medicinal properties are still being explored and studied today.

In conclusion, Thread-leaved Water Crowfoot is a plant of many talents, offering ornamental value, ecological importance, scientific significance, and cultural significance. Whether you're a gardener, scientist, or simply a lover of nature, this fascinating species is sure to captivate and inspire you.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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