Panarctic Flora


361203 Ranunculus reptans L.


Northern Iceland: Frequent
Northern Fennoscandia: Frequent
Kanin - Pechora: Scattered
Polar Ural - Novaya Zemlya: Scattered
Yamal - Gydan: Rare
Taimyr - Severnaya Zemlya: Rare
Yana - Kolyma: Rare
West Chukotka: Rare
South Chukotka: Scattered
East Chukotka: Rare
Western Alaska: Rare
Northern Alaska - Yukon: Scattered
Central Canada: Scattered
Hudson Bay - Labrador: Scattered
Western Greenland: Scattered
Eastern Greenland: Rare
Mid Arctic Tundra: Presence uncertain
Southern Arcti Tundra: Frequent
Shrub Tundra: Frequent
Bordering boreal or alpine areas: Frequent

2n= (1) 32 (4x). - Europe, Russia, Siberia, Far East, Canada, Greenland. - Numerous reports.
(2) 48 (6x). - Russia (N). - Lavrenko and Serditov (1985).
Reports of 2n = 32 and 48 for R. flammula var. filiformis (Taylor and Mulligan 1968; Göpfert 1974) may belong to this taxon.

Geography: Circumboreal-polar: ICE NOR RUS SIB RFE ALA CAN GRL.

Notes: Ranunculus reptans L. and R. flammula L. are clearly different in Europe but more difficult to keep consistently apart in North America. Both species were described from northwestern Europe. European and Russian authors consider them two species distinguished by a good set of characters (e.g., Tutin and Akeroyd 1993b; Hämet-Ahti et al. 1998; Uotila 2001c) and by ecological demands. Ranunculus reptans is a plant of silty-sandy mesotrophic shores and shallow lake and river bottoms, often alpine or arctic. Ranunculus flammula is a plant of peaty or clayey, often very distinctly oligotrophic to dystrophic tarns, ditches, and peat bogs in temperate and oceanic areas. They therefore both look and behave like two species even if they sometimes hybridize in the zone of overlap (Tutin and Akeroyd 1993b; Uotila 2001c).

North American authors from Meyer (1830) to Whittemore (1997) have often included R. repens in R. flammula as a variety, and the morphological variation pattern we have observed in North American material is less discontinuous than that in European material. American plants of R. flammula are smaller, more narrow-leaved, and more small-flowered than European ones and more resemble R. repens. We admit that many North American plants are difficult to assign but not the arctic ones. They belong to the boreal-arctic, nearly circumpolar R. reptans and not to the temperate, oceanic R. flammula which does not seem to approach the Arctic anywhere. A circumpolar study might show that the two species should be merged as major eco-geographical races.

Higher Taxa