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Tall Buttercup (also known as Ranunculus acris) is a perennial weed that can grow up to 1 meter in height. This plant is known for having a thick rootstalk with plenty of spreading fibrous roots.

A word of caution according to the Government of Alberta, “Buttercups have an unpleasantly sharp, pungent, or bitter juice which causes severe pain and inflammation when grazed by livestock.”

Perennial weeds grow from root stalks year after year.  Perennial weeds spread by seeds and roots, and therefore the entire plant must be destroyed.

Classification: Noxious Weed

Recognizable features:

Key Traits:

  • Grows to between 30-100 cm in height
  • Distinct leaf stalks
  • Deeply lobed leaf blades
  • Yellow flower

Stem: Erect to 1 m; “smooth, hollow, leafy below and branched above”. (Government of Alberta)


  • Lower leaves are long-stalked, the blade divided into 3-5 main lobes arranged as if resembling a hand. Each lobe is coarsely toothed.
  • Middle leaves are almost stalkless
  • Upper leaves are progressively smaller with less lobes. The base of each leafstalk is flattened.

Flowers:  Color of flowers is very bright yellow, typically 2-3 cm in diameter with 5 petals, grouped on long stalks. Sepals are green and relatively small. (Source: Government of Alberta)

Green Oasis offers a variety of weed control services to help you get rid of pesky weeds.

Contact your local office to learn more:

Calgary:                                                                Red Deer:

Tel:  403-206-9900                                             Tel:   403-358-3339


Information compliments of:

Government of Alberta, Tall Buttercups Information Sheet