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Common Name: Celery-Leaved Buttercup
Ranunculus sceleratus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
All parts of the plant are poisonous when fresh, the toxins are destroyed by heat or by drying[
]. The plant also has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin[
Europe, including Britain, mainly in northern and central areas..
In and by slow streams, ditches and shallow ponds of mineral rich water and muddy bottoms, avoiding acid soils[
A plant of boggy soils and shallow water, it prefers a loamy soil and a sunny position.
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[
Young plant cooked[
]. It is said to be not unwholesome if the plant is boiled and the water thrown away[
] and then the plant cooked again[
]. Caution is strongly advised, see the notes above on toxicity and below on medicinal uses.
The celery-leafed buttercup is one of the most virulent of our native plants[
]. The whole plant is acrid, anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic and emmenagogue and rubefacient[
]. When bruised and applied to the skin it raises a blister and creates a sore that is by no means easy to heal. If chewed it inflames the tongue and produces violent effects[
]. The herb should be used fresh since it loses its effects when dried[
The leaves and the root are used externally as an antirheumatic[
The seed is tonic and is used in the treatment of colds, general debility, rheumatism and spermatorrhoea[
An extract of the leaves can be used as a fungicide[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. This plant is unlikely to need much assistance.
Division in spring.