by Stephen Mifsud
   9 Feb 2023      ()
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Ranunculus muricatus   (Scilly Buttercup)

Ranunculus muricatus  (RANUNCULACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Ranunculus muricatus - datasheet created on Oct-2007. Retrieved from on 09-Feb-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Ranunculus muricatusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 555 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Notophilus muricatus Fourr.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Ranunculaceae Juss. (The Buttercup Family)
23 species from the Ranunculaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Scilly Buttercup, Rough-fruited Buttercup, Spiny-fruited Buttercup

Maltese name(s) :

Ċfolloq tat-tajn

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

February – May

Colour of Flowers:



Mildy toxic, can cause adverse conditions if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :

Ranunculus: from rana which means a small frog given because many species tend to grow in moist, wet or marshy places where frogs are found. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Damp, often disturbed ground.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: More or less glabrous annual up to c. 50 cm. Leaves all similar, coarsely crenate-dentate and often shallowly lobed. Honey-leaves little longer than the sepals. Achenes 7-8 mm, ovate, spiny, with a broad, smooth margin; beak 2-3 mm, nearly straight.
Chromosome number: 2n=32, 48, 64
Distributional range: S. Europe.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part), Introduced in  the Azores, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ab(A) AE(G) Ag Al Ar BH Bl(I M N) Bu dCa(C G H P T) Cg Co Cr Ct Cy Eg Ga(F M) Gg(A D G) Gr He Hs(S) Ir It Jo Le Li Lu Ma Mk Rf(CS) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sl Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K U) [nAz(F G L M P S T) Br aDa aGe aHb(N) nMd(M P) Mo aNo aSu]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (10 images)
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-0.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-1.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-2.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-3.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-4.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-5.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-6.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-7.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-8.
   Ranunculus muricatus   -   Image Code: RNNMU-9.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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