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Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)

Buttercup family

 

The Buttercup family - ranunculaceae - comprises about 2000 species of plants mainly spread in temperate countries. Most of them are herbs and lianas having big flowers, so they are very valuable in gardening. They are also very well known because many of them are poisonous plants.

Ranunculus asiaticus

buttercap draw

Leaves (1): Generally alternate and divided; some genera such as clematis are opposite.(2)

 

Stems (3): In most of the cases they are herbaceous. In clematis, ligneous. 

 

Flowers: (4)

Very changing..

Calyx: 5 sepals- clematis has four (5) . Sometimes sepals are colored, reminding petals. Some genera - hepatica, for example- have bracts under the sepals very similar to a calyx.

Clematis alpina

buttercap draw

Corolla: 5 petals. Under them some species have nectar glands which in cases as aquilegia (6) o Delphinium (7) extend themselves behind the petals like horns.

 

Aquilegia vulgaris

buttercap draw

Stamens: Numerous.

Ovary: Superior.

Carpels: Numerous.

Delphinium nudicale

buttercap draw

Fruit:

Follicles (8) and achenes.

Helleborus foetidus

buttercap draw


Genera

The most important ones are the following:

ACTAEA
ACONITUM
ADONIS
ANEMONE
AQUILEGIA
CALLIANTHEMUM
CALTHA
CERATOCEPHALUS
CLEMATIS
CONSOLIDA
DELPHINIUM
GARIDELLA
HELLEBORUS
HEPATICA
ISOPYRUM
MYOSORUS
NIGELLA
PULSATILLA
RANUNCULUS
THALICTRUM
TROLLIUS

 

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