Ranunculus trichophyllus

Ranunculus trichophyllus, the threadleaf crowfoot,[3] or thread-leaved water-crowfoot,[4][5] is a plant species in the genus Ranunculus, native to Europe, Asia and North America.

Ranunculus trichophyllus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
R. trichophyllus
Binomial name
Ranunculus trichophyllus
  • Ranunculus aquatilis var. capillaceus (Thuill.) DC.
  • Ranunculus aquatilis var. trichophyllus (Chaix ex Vill.) A. Gray
  • Ranunculus trichophyllus var. trichophyllus (None Known)[1]

It is a herbaceous annual or perennial plant generally found in slow flowing streams, ponds, or lakes. The daisy-like flowers are white with a yellow centre, with five petals.[6] It is similar in form to Ranunculus fluitans (river water-crowfoot), apart from flower petal number, thread-leaved has on 5 petals and shorter leaves, as thread-leaved prefers slower flowing waters. It also has rounded seed heads which become fruits covered with bristles.[6] The segmented leaves and the plants ability to photosynthesis underwater have been studied.[7]



It was first described and published by the French naturalist and botanist Dominique Villars in his book 'Histoire des plantes du Dauphiné' Vol.3 on page 335 in 1786.[1][8]

The species epithet trichophyllus is Latin for 'hairy leaves'.[9]

In North America it is also commonly known as the 'white water crow foot'.[10] The Icelandic name of this species is Lónasóley.[11]


  • Ranunculus trichophyllus subsp. eradicatus (Laest.) C.D.K.Cook (synonym: Batrachium eradicatum (Laest.) Fr.)[12]

Distribution and habitat


The plant is found in most of the Northern Hemisphere,[5] from the United States, Europe and the Mediterranean, east through Siberia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, the Himalayas, Kazakhstan and Mongolia to Kamchatka in Russia, also in Japan, China and Korea.[2] It is even found in the lakes and ponds of Mount Everest.[13]



Phytoremediation is a plant-based approach, which involves the use of plants to extract and remove elemental pollutants or lower their bioavailability in soil.[14] Ranunculus trichophyllus, commonly known as the threadleaf crowfoot or Three-leaved Crowfoot, is a species of aquatic plant. It belongs to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). However, it's not a widely studied or economically significant plant, and information about its specific importance might be limited. Therefore, in terms of Phytoremediation, there is limited information other than the species participates in phytofiltration. Phytofiltration is a type of phytoremediation of heavy metal-polluted soil. Phytofiltration is the use of plant roots (rhizofiltratio)), shoots (caulofiltration), or seedlings (blastofiltration) to remove pollutants from contaminated surface waters or waste waters. During rhizofiltration, heavy metals are either adsorbed onto the root surface or absorbed by the roots. Root exudates can change rhizosphere pH, which leads to the precipitation of heavy metals on plant roots, further minimizing movement of heavy metals to underground water.[14] Ranunculus trichophyllus is great in phytofiltration to deal with arsenic which is accumulated in aquatic plants and eliminated from water.[15]



It grows in freshwater,[16] found in dune slacks and drainage ditches to ponds, lakes, streams and slow-flowing rivers. It is normally found at around 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above sea level.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix ex Vill. is an accepted name". 23 March 2012. theplantlist.org. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Lansdown, R.V. (2013). "Ranunculus trichophyllus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T164138A13572532. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T164138A13572532.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  3. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Ranunculus trichophyllus". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  4. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  5. ^ a b "Ranunculus trichophyllus". rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain. Reader's Digest. 1981. p. 30. ISBN 9780276002175.
  7. ^ Rascio, N.; Cuccato, F.; Dalla Vecchia, F.; La Rocca, N.; Larcher, W. (February 1999). "Structural and functional features of the leaves of Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix., a freshwater submerged macrophophyte". Plant, Cell and Environment. 22 (2): 205–212. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3040.1999.00394.x.
  8. ^ "Ranunculaceae Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix". ipni.org. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  9. ^ Archibald William Smith A Gardener's Handbook of Plant Names: Their Meanings and Origins, p. 339, at Google Books
  10. ^ Elaine Nowick Historical Common Names of Great Plains Plants, with Scientific Names Index ..., p. 365, at Google Books
  11. ^ "elements: Ranunculus trichophyllus, thread-leaved water-crowfoot". iceland-nh.net. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Batrachium eradicatum (Laest.) Fr". www.worldfloraonline.org. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  13. ^ Lacoul, P.; Freedman, B. (August 2006). "Recent Observation of a Proliferation of Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix. in High-Altitude Lakes of the Mount Everest Region". Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. 38 (3): 394–398. doi:10.1657/1523-0430(2006)38[394:rooapo]2.0.co;2.
  14. ^ a b Yan, An; Wang, Yamin; Tan, Swee Ngin; Mohd Yusof, Mohamed Lokman; Ghosh, Subhadip; Chen, Zhong (2020). "Phytoremediation: A Promising Approach for Revegetation of Heavy Metal-Polluted Land". Frontiers in Plant Science. 11: 359. doi:10.3389/fpls.2020.00359. ISSN 1664-462X. PMC 7203417. PMID 32425957.
  15. ^ Ungureanu G, Santos S, Boaventura R, Botelho C. Arsenic and antimony in water and wastewater: overview of removal techniques with special reference to latest advances in adsorption. Journal of environmental management. 2015 Mar 15;151:326-42.
  16. ^ Dalla Vecchia, F.; Cuccato, F.; La Rocca, N.; Larcher, W.; Rascio, N. (January 1999). "Endodermis-like Sheaths in the Submerged Freshwater Macrophyte Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix" (PDF). Annals of Botany. 83 (1): 93–97. doi:10.1006/anbo.1998.0787.