Creeping buttercup. Photo Credit: (c) Gerald D. Carr, courtesy of OregonFlora
Creeping buttercup leaves. Photo Credit: (c) Keir Morse, courtesy of OregonFlora
Creeping buttercup seeds. Photo Credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
Creeping buttercup infestation.
Also known as: Butter daisy, buttercup, creeping crow foot
Creeping buttercup is a low-growing plant that sprawls along the ground. Its bright yellow flowers make it easy to spot during the spring and summer. It is toxic to livestock and can cause skin irritation if touched without gloves.
|Life Cycle:||Perennial (life cycle lasts more than one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||No|
|Height:||Up to 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) tall|
|Leaf Description:||Rosettes of dark green leaves have white patches. Each leaf has three lobed leaflets. Each leaflet is hairy with uneven, toothed edges.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Flowers have five to seven bright yellow petals. Petals are round and have clusters of stamens and pistils in the center.|
Spherical fruits ripen in late summer. The fruits are tipped with a short, curved beak and change from green to brown as they ripen.
|Bloom Time:||May to August|
- It thrives in areas with poorly drained, wet soils. It can grow in sunny or shaded conditions.
- It can be commonly found in both urban and rural settings including low-lying pastures, urban lawns, gardens, riparian areasRiparian Areas Areas of land that occur along the edges of rivers, streams, lakes, and other bodies of water., and forests.
- It quickly forms large monocultures which crowd out native plants and forage for livestock.
- Its toxic sap can cause skin irritation if handled without proper protection.
- It is toxic to grazing livestock including cattle, horses, goats, sheep, llamas, and alpacas.
What you can do about it:
- Make sure to wear gloves whenever handling creeping buttercup. Its toxic sap can cause skin irritation.
- Manual removal is effective for small patches. Make sure to remove the entire plant including all roots and the surrounding soil to ensure new plants won’t sprout.
- Place all plant material in a tied plastic bag and throw it away in the trash— not your yard waste bin or home compost.
- Tilling and mowing only increases the size of the infestation. These practices should not be used when treating it.
Native western buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis) can be confused with creeping buttercup. Western buttercup doesn’t grow along the ground as creeping buttercup does. Its leaves also do not have white blotches.
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Not Listed|
|State of Washington:||Not Listed|
Download the Creeping Buttercup Best Management Practices factsheet