Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
2n = 32
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Sparse
Endemic. South Island from south western Canterbury to Otago and northern Southland
Montane to alpine in turf on lake and tarn margins, in bogs, seepages amongst short tussock grasses and in alpine flushes and cushion bogs.
Short, tufted, sparsely hairy to glabrate perennial up to 50 mm tall forming small solitary or multiple rosettes. Petioles of cauline leaves up to 16 mm long, sheath 14 x 3 mm, membranous, very hairy, petioles and sheath mottled purple-green or completely purple-black. Cauline leaves 9 x 10 mm, dark green flecked with dark brown, brown, purple-brown or black, broadly elliptic, obovate-cuneate, obovate or orbicular, deeply 3-lobed, sparsely hairy or glabrous (hairs if present concentrated toward lamina margins). Scape apparently sessile to subsessile at flowering, elongating to 50 mm or toward the apex where glabrous. Flowers solitary, 8-10 mm diameter; sepals 5, 3 x 2 mm, broad-ovate, sparsely hairy to glabrous spreading at maturity, fugaceous; petals 5, 5 x 2 mm, yellow, oblong-obovate to spathulate; nectary single, 1-1.5 mm from petal base, shallow, pocket-like. receptacle hairy. Achenes 15-25, 1.5-1.9 mm long, dull brown, often blotched dark purple-brown or completely dark purple-brown, elliptic, ovate-elliptic or obovate-elliptic; beak usually curled or hooked to dorsal side, sometimes straight, 0.2-0.5 mm long.
Belongs to a group of ranunculi where although the flowers are sessile to subsessile the peduncle greatly elongates after flowering. Of those species R. maculatus is perhaps closest to R. royi G.Simpson from which it differs by the 3-lobed, rather than 3-5-lobed leaves which are either glabrous or scattered with fine hairs particularly toward the lamina margins. In R. royi the leaves are densely and evenly covered in hairs, and while the lobes of R. maculatus are entire those of R. royi are always toothed or crenate. In R. maculatus the peduncles are always glabrous toward the extremities. Fruiting specimens of R. maculatus have 15-25 achenes rather than the 25-35 seen in R. royi.
November - February
December - April
Easily grown from fresh seed but prone to powdery mildew in moist or humid climates.
Not Threatened. An apparently widespread, and at times locally common but generally biologically sparse species.
ranunculus: From the Latin ‘rana’ frog, meaning little frog and probably refers to the plants typical marshy habit where frogs abound
maculatus: From the Latin maculatus ‘blotched’
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (30 August 2003). Description based on Allan (1961), Webb et al. (1988) and fresh specimens
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Wellington, Government Printer
Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Christchurch, DSIR Botany Division.
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Ranunculus maculatus Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/ranunculus-maculatus/ (Date website was queried)