Thursday, April 14, 2011

Plant Quiz Solved - Ranunculus testiculatus!

Good call, Mary. It is Ranunculus testiculatus, also known as Ceratocephalus testiculatus, Bur Buttercup. In the eastern U.S. it grows almost exclusively in campgrounds. It is new to Gray's Manual of Botany by M. L. Fernald.

This plant is unusual in that each pistil is scrotiform (that's a botanical term) at the base, having twin protuberances that look like testicles. Hence the specific epithet testiculatus, and the unofficial common name, Ballswort! It is not, however, related to Nut Rush or Nut Sedge.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Ranunuculus rhomboideus??

Chris Zeiner

Keith said...

Nope, but good try Chris!

Scott Namestnik said...

Dirty...

Keith said...

...as in, "obscene!"

Mary said...

Ranunculus testiculatus

Mary said...

Ranunculus testiculatus?

Scott Namestnik said...

You should see it out here in Nevada... an abundant weed in the desert. The ground is a glowing yellow in places. I've only seen it in Indiana as a few scattered plants in gravel. Interestingly, the petals on the plants in Nevada are more acute.

The Phytophactor said...

New to Gray's? Ranunculus testiculatus has been in Gleason & Cronquist for sometime and that couplet about inflated achenes in the key is a stumbling block for taxonomy students in the field especially when no fruits are yet available to examine. So to guess that correctly from the picture is amazing.