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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales

Familia: Ranunculaceae
Subfamiliae: CoptidoideaeGlaucidioideaeHydrastidoideaeRanunculoideaeThalictroideae

Genera: AconitumActaeaAdonisAnemoclemaAnemonastrumAnemoneAnemonoidesAnemonopsisAquilegiaArcteranthisAsteropyrumBarneoudiaBatrachiumBeckwithiaBeesiaCalathodes – Callianthemoides – CallianthemumCalthaCeratocephalaCeratocephalusCimicifugaClematisConsolida – Coptidium – CoptisCyrtorhynchaDelphiniumDichocarpum – Enemion – EranthisEriocapitella – Ficaria – GlaucidiumGymnaconitumHalerpestesHamadryasHelleborusHepaticaHydrastis – Isopyrum – KnowltoniaKrapfia – Laccopetalum – Leptopyrum – Leucocoma – MegaleranthisMetanemone – Miyakea – MyosurusNaraveliaNigellaOreithalesOxygraphis – Paraquilegia – ParoxygraphisPeltocalathos – Pseudodelphinium – PsychrophilaPulsatillaRanunculus – Semiaquilegia – Thalictrum – TrautvetteriaTrollius – Urophysa – Xanthorhiza

Ranunculaceae Juss. Gen. Pl. 231. 1789, nom. cons.

Type genus: Ranunculus L. Sp. Pl. 1: 248. 1753.


Aconitaceae Bercht. & J.Presl, Přir. Rostlin: 216. Jan-Apr 1820.
Actaeaceae Bercht. & J.Presl, Přir. Rostlin 1(16*-53): 2, 140. 1823.
Anemonaceae Vest, Anleit. Stud. Bot.: 264, 275. 1818.
Aquilegiaceae Lilja, Skåneskfl., ed. 2: 375, 861, 979. Apr-Dec 1870.
Calthaceae Martinov, Tekhno-Bot. Slovar: 92. 3 Aug 1820.
Cimicifugaceae Arn., Mag. Nat. Hist. n.s. (Bromhead) 4: 336, 338. Jul 1840.
Clematidaceae Martinov, Tekhno-Bot. Slovar: 134. 3 Aug 1820.
Delphiniaceae Brenner, Florist. Handb.: 52. 1886.
Coptaceae Á.Löve & D.Löve, nom. inval.
Glaucidiaceae Tamura, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 85: 40. Mar 1972.
Helleboraceae Vest, Anleit. Stud. Bot.: 264, 274. 1818.
Hydrastidaceae Martynov, Tekhno-Bot. Slovar: 318. 3 Aug 1820.
Nigellaceae J.Agardh, Theoria Syst. Pl.: 76. Apr-Sep 1858.
Thalictraceae Raf., Anal. Nat.: 176. Apr-Jul 1815.
Xanthorhizaceae Bercht. & J.Presl, Přir. Rostlin 1(16*-53): 2, 145. 1823.


Jussieu, A.L. de 1789. Genera plantarum, secundum ordines naturales disposita juxta methodum in Horto Regio Parisiensi exaratam. 498 pp. Paris: Herissant et Theophile Barrois. BHL Reference page.
Cossard, G., Sannier, J., Sauquet, H., Damerval, C., Ronse Decraene, L., Jabbour, F. & Nadot, S. 2016. Subfamilial and tribal relationships of Ranunculaceae: evidence from eight molecular markers. Plant Systematics and Evolution 302(4): 419–431. DOI: 10.1007/s00606-015-1270-6 Paywall ResearchGate Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Ranunculaceae in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Dec. 19. Reference page.
Tamura, M. 1990. A new classification of the family Ranunculaceae 1. Acta Phytotaxonomica et Geobotanica 41(1–3): 93–101. DOI: 10.18942/bunruichiri.KJ00002594282 Open access Reference page.
Tamura, M. 1991. A new classification of the family Ranunculaceae 2. Acta Phytotaxonomica et Geobotanica 42(2): 177–187. DOI: 10.18942/bunruichiri.KJ00001078729 Open access Reference page.
Tamura, M. 1992. A new classification of the family Ranunculaceae 3. Acta Phytotaxonomica et Geobotanica 43(1): 53–58. DOI: 10.18942/bunruichiri.KJ00001078964 Open access Reference page.
Stevens, P.F. 2001 onwards. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 14, July 2017 [and more or less continuously updated since]. Online. Reference page.

Vernacular names
العربية: حوذانية
asturianu: ranunculacees
azərbaycanca: Qaymaqçiçəyikimilər
беларуская: Казяльцовыя
български: Лютикови
català: Ranunculàcia
čeština: pryskyřníkovité
dansk: Ranunkel-familien
Deutsch: Hahnenfußgewächse
dolnoserbski: Górkacowe rostliny
English: Buttercup family
Esperanto: Ranunkolacoj
español: Ranunculáceas
eesti: Tulikalised
فارسی: آلاله‌ها
suomi: Leinikkikasvit
français: Renonculacées
Gaeilge: Fearbán
עברית: נוריתיים
हिन्दी: रैननकुलेसी
hornjoserbsce: Maslenkowe rostliny
magyar: Boglárkafélék
հայերեն: Հրանունկազգիներ
日本語: キンポウゲ科
ქართული: ბაიასებრნი
қазақша: Сарғалдақтар тұқымдасы
한국어: 미나리아재비과
kurdî: Famîleya adirgeyan
кыргызча: Байчечекейлер
lietuvių: Vėdryniniai
latviešu: Gundegu dzimta
македонски: Лутичиња
മലയാളം: റാണുൺകുലേസീ
Nederlands: Ranonkelfamilie
norsk nynorsk: Soleiefamilien
norsk: Soleiefamilien
polski: Jaskrowate
پنجابی: ہوا پھل
Runa Simi: Waranqaysu yura rikch'aq ayllu
русский: Лютиковые
davvisámegiella: Fiskesrássešattut
slovenčina: iskerníkovité
slovenščina: Zlatičevke
српски / srpski: Љутићи
svenska: Ranunkelväxter
తెలుగు: రానన్కులేసి
ไทย: วงศ์พวงแก้วกุดั่น
Türkçe: Düğün çiçeğigiller
українська: Жовтецеві
Tiếng Việt: Họ Mao lương
中文: 毛茛科

Ranunculaceae (buttercup or crowfoot family; Latin rānunculus "little frog", from rāna "frog") is a family of over 2,000 known species of flowering plants in 43 genera,[2] distributed worldwide.

The largest genera are Ranunculus (600 species), Delphinium (365), Thalictrum (330), Clematis (325), and Aconitum (300).

Floral diagram. Adonis annua

Ranunculaceae are mostly herbaceous annuals or perennials, but some are woody climbers (such as Clematis)[3] or shrubs (e.g. Xanthorhiza).

Most members of the family have bisexual flowers which can be showy or inconspicuous. Flowers are solitary, but are also found aggregated in cymes, panicles, or spikes. The flowers are usually radially symmetrical but are also found to be bilaterally symmetrical in the genera Aconitum and Delphinium.[4][5] The sepals, petals, stamens and carpels are all generally free (not fused), the outer flower segments typically number four or five. The outer stamens[a] may be modified to produce only nectar, as in Aquilegia, Helleborus and Delphinium.[5]

In some genera, such as Thalictrum the sepals are colorful and appear petal-like (petaloid) and the petals can be inconspicuous or absent.[3] The stems are unarmed. The leaves are variable. Most species have both basal and cauline (stem) leaves, which are usually compound or lobed but can be simple. They are typically alternate, or occasionally opposite or even whorled. Many species, especially the perennials form rhizomes that develop new roots each year.[6] Ficaria verna can reproduce vegetatively by means of root tubers produced in the leaf axils.[3][4] Some members of the genus Thalictrum utilize anemophily while others utilize entomophily.[8] Flowers of the entomophilous genus Papaver, also of the Ranunculales order, produce only pollen.[9] Until recently, it was believed that the species of the genus Anemone also lack nectar.[10]

The fruits are most commonly free, unfused achenes (e.g. Ranunculus, Clematis) or follicles (e.g. Helleborus, Eranthis, Nigella), but a berry in Actaea.[3][4]
Fruit Morphology
Achene: Pulsatilla alpina
Achene: Ranunculus acris
Follicle: Nigella arvensis
Follicle: Helleborus niger

Ranunculaceae contain protoanemonin, which is toxic to humans and animals. Contact with plant sap may cause inflammation and blistering of the skin, while ingestion can cause irritation of the mouth, vomiting, and diarrhea.[11] Other poisonous or toxic compounds, alkaloids and glycosides, are also common.

Takhtajan (1997) included the Ranunculaceae as the only family in the Ranunculales which he placed in a subclass, the Ranunculidae, instead of a superorder. Previously, Thorn (1992) placed the Ranunculaceae in the Berberidales, an order within the Superorder Magnolianae. Earlier Cronquist in 1981 included the Ranunculaceae along with seven other families in the Rancunculales which was included in the Magnoliidae, which he regarded as a subclass.[12] David, (2010)[13] placed the Ranuculaceae, together with the Eupteleaceae, Lardizabalaceae, Menispermaceae, Berberidaceae, and Papaveraceae in the Ranunculales, the only order in the superorder Ranunculanae. This follows the work of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.

The family Ranunculaceae sensu stricto is one of seven families included in the order Ranunculales within the eudicots according to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) classification.[14] The family is monophyletic with Glaucidium as sister to the remaining genera.[15] This phylogeny is illustrated in the APG Poster.[16]

Early subdivisions of the family, such as Michel Adanson (1763), simply divided it based on one-seeded or many-seeded fruit. Prantl (1887) envisaged three tribes, Paeonieae, Hellebroreae and Anemoneae with Paeonia, Glaucidium and Hydrastis forming Paeonieae. By the twentieth century Langlet (1932) used chromosome types to create two subfamilies, Ranunculoideae and Thalictroideae. In 1966 Tamura further developed Langlet's system by adding floral characteristics with six subfamilies;


but by 1988 he had reduced Coptidoideae to a tribe within Isopyroideae, leaving five subfamilies, an arrangement he continued in his 1993 monograph, dividing the larger subfamilies into tribes, though by then Paeonia and Glaucidium were no longer considered to belong to Ranunculaceae.[17] Paeonia was separated from Ranuculaceae and placed in its own family of Paeoniaceae (order Saxifragales). other genera originally included in Ranunculaceae include Circaeaster which was placed in its own family Circaeasteraceae.

Tamura's complete system was structured as follows;

Subfamilies and tribes

Subfamily Ranunculoideae Hutch.
Adonideae Kunth
Anemoneae DC.
Ranunculeae DC.
Subfamily Helleboroideae Hutch.
Helleboreae DC.
Cimicifugeae Torrey & A.Gray
Delphineae Schrödinger
Nigelleae Schrödinger
Subfamily Isopyroideae Tamura
Coptideae Langlet ex Tamura & K.Kosuge
Dichocarpeae Tamura & K.Kosuge
Isopyreae Schrödinger
Subfamily Thalictroideae
Subfamily Hydrastidoideae

The genus Glaucidium, having been moved to its own family (Glaucidiaceae), has since been restored to Ranuculaceae.
Molecular phylogenetics

When subjected to molecular phylogenetic analysis only Thalictroideae is monophyletic. The position of Glaucidium and some of its unique morphological characteristics prompted Stevens to suggest that it be given subfamilial rank as the monotypic Glaucidioideae. Similarly Hydrastis has been assigned to subfamily Hydrastidoideae.[18][15] Both genera are represented by a single species, Glaucidium palmatum and Hydrastis canadense respectively.

The relationships between the genera suggest the existence of three major clades corresponding to Coptidoideae, Thalictroideae (clade A) and Ranunculoideae (clade F). The latter is the largest with four subclades (B–E). Of these C corresponds to Delphineae, D to Cimicifugae and E to Ranunculoideae.[15] Consequently, Wang and colleagues (2009) proposed a new classification with five subfamilies, and further subdividing Ranunculoideae into ten tribes. The relationship between the subfamilies is shown in the cladogram;

In addition to the two monotypic subgenera, Coptoideae has 17 species and Thalictroideae has 450, including Thalictrum and Aquilegia. The other genera (2025 species, 81% of the family) belong to Ranunculoideae. Kingdonia had been included by Tamura in Anemoneae, but is now added to Circaeasteraceae.

Subfamilies of Ranunculaceae (5) and tribes of Ranunculoideae

Glaucidioideae (Tamura) Loconte (1)
Hydrastidoideae Engler (1)
Coptidoideae Tamura (2)
Thalictroideae Raf. (10)
Ranunculoideae Arn. (46)
Adonideae Kunth
Delphinieae Schröd.
Nigelleae Schröd.
Helleboreae DC.
Cimicifugeae Torr. and A.Gray
Caltheae Bercht. and J.Presl
Asteropyreae W.T.Wang and C. Y.Chang
Callianthemeae W.Wang and Z. D.Chen
Anemoneae DC.
Ranunculeae DC.

Cladogram of Ranunculaceae subfamilies[15]


GlaucidoideaeGlaucidium palmatum (flower s3).JPG

HydrastidoideaeHydrastis flor.jpg

CoptidoideaeCoptis quinquefolia 3.JPG

RanunculoideaeCreeping butercup close 800.jpg

ThalictroideaeThalictrum aquilegifolium 02.jpg


Ranunculaceae contains approximately 43 genera.[2][19]

Subfamily Glaucidioideae

Glaucidium Siebold & Zuccarini

Subfamily Hydrastidoideae

Hydrastis L.

Subfamily Coptidoideae

Coptis Salisb.
Xanthorhiza Marshall

Subfamily Thalictroideae

Aquilegia L.
Dichocarpum W.T.Wang & P.K.Hsiao
Enemion Rafinesque
Isopyrum L.
Leptopyrum Reichenbach
Paraquilegia J.R.Drumm. & Hutch.
Paropyrum Ulbr.
Semiaquilegia Makino
Thalictrum L.
Urophysa Ulbr.

Subfamily Ranunculoideae

Tribe Adonideae

Adonis L.
Megaleranthis Ohwi
Trollius L.

Tribe Delphinieae

Aconitum L.
Consolida Gray
Delphinium L.

Tribe Nigelleae

Nigella L.

Tribe Helleboreae

Helleborus L.

Tribe Cimicifugeae

Actaea L.
Anemonopsis Siebold & Zuccarini
Beesia Balf.f. & W.W.Sm.
Cimicifuga Wernisch.
Eranthis Salisb.
Souliea Franch.

Tribe Caltheae

Caltha L.

Tribe Asteropyreae

Asteropyrum J.R.Drumm. & Hutch.

Tribe Callianthemeae

Callianthemum C.A.Mey.

Tribe Anemoneae

Anemoclema (Franch.) W.T.Wang
Anemone L.
Clematis L.
Hepatica Mill.
Naravelia Adans.
Pulsatilla Mill.

Tribe Ranunculeae

Barneoudia Gay
Calathodes Hook.f. & Thomson
Callianthemoides Tamura
Ceratocephala Moench
Ficaria Guett.
Halerpestes Greene
Hamadryas Comm. ex Juss.
Knowltonia Salisb.
Krapfia DC.
Laccopetalum Ulbr.
Metanemone W.T.Wang
Miyakea Miyabe & Tatew.
Myosurus L.
Oreithales Schltdl.
Oxygraphis Bunge
Paroxygraphis W.W.Sm.
Ranunculus L.
Trautvetteria Fisch. & C.A.Mey.

Previous genera

Anemonella Spach → Thalictrum
Psychrophila (DC.) Bercht. & J.Presl → Caltha

Fossil record

Fossils of fruits, pollen, seeds, and leaves are known from several dozen locations. The fossil record begins in the early Cretaceous and continues throughout the Tertiary. In most cases, the fossils are assigned to extant genera, or show a close relationship to a particular extant genus.[1]

Some Ranunculaceae are used as herbal medicines because of their alkaloids and glycosides, such as Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), whose root is used as a tonic. More than 30 species are used in homeopathy, including Aconitum napellus, Cimicifuga racemosa, Clematis recta, Clematis virginiana, Hydrastis canadensis, Ranunculus bulbosus, Helleborus niger, Delphinium staphisagria, Pulsatilla nigricans. Many genera are well known as cultivated flowers, such as Aconitum (monkshood), Clematis, Consolida (larkspur), Delphinium, Helleborus (Christmas rose), Trollius (globeflower). The seeds of Nigella sativa are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.[20]


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Ross, Gary (22 December 2016). "Treat Your Bees to a Banquet of Poppies". Bee Culture. A.I. Root Company. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
Erbar, Claudia; Leins, Peter (2013). "Nectar production in the pollen flower of Anemone nemorosa in comparison with other Ranunculaceae and Magnolia (Magnoliaceae)". Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 13 (3): 287–300. doi:10.1007/s13127-013-0131-9. S2CID 16275166. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
"Anemone (Windflower) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". Retrieved 2021-02-17.
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