Ranunculus depressus var. stewartiae G.Simpson et J.S.Thomson
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
2n = 32
Current conservation status
The threat classification 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) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website 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. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Data Deficient | Qualifiers: Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Data Deficient | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Sparse
Endemic. North and South Islands. In the North Island known from Mt Taranaki, Kaimanawa and Ruahine Ranges. In the South Island recorded from north-west Nelson and Fiordland
Lowland to alpine (0-1200 m a.s.l.), in damp seepages and pools within forest, along stream banks and in seepages and flushes in subalpine scrub and herbfield.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Diminutive, tufted, rosette-forming perennial herb spreading by numerous, slender, trailing and arching stolons; these rooting freely at nodes. Basal leaves 3-10 mm diameter, dark green to bronze-green, suborbicular, shallowly 3-lobed at apex, lobe apices rounded, sometimes bluntly toothed again on lobes, base truncate, glabrous or finely hairy, membranous; cauline leaves similar but smaller, opposite or in lax whorls. Flowers solitary; scapes hairy and short, up to 15 mm long at fruiting. Flowers 3-5 mm diameter. Sepals spreading, sparsely hairy. Petals 0-5, yellow, narrowly obovate; nectary single, 0.5-1.5 mm from petal base, covered by a triangular scale. Receptacle hairy. Achenes 5-15, 1.4-1.9 mm long, dull medium buff to orange, light nut brown or grey brown, elliptic, broadly elliptic or broadly obovate; surface finely though regularly punctate, beak 0.1-0.3 mm long, hooked to dorsal side or reduced to remnant stub.
Distinguished from all other New Zealand indigenous and naturalised Ranunculus spp., by the small size, slender, arching and/or trailing stolons which root freely at the nodes, and leaves 3-10 mm diameter, with the flowers 3-5 mm diameter. Morphologically it is perhaps closest to R. cheesemanii Kirk but that species has leaves 7-35 mm diameter with 3-5 blunt teeth or that are shallowly blunt with entire lobes, flowers 6-10mm diameter with fugaceous petals and achenes between 2-2.5 mm long.
November - January
January - April
Unknown. Probably easily grown but likely to require pot culture to prevent it being over taken by taller plants and weeds within a garden environment.
Currently believed to be a very uncommon, widely distributed and biologically sparse species. It is very easily overlooked. There is as yet no clear evidence of any past or ongoing declines of this species within its known range.
ranunculus: From the Latin ‘rana’ frog, meaning little frog and probably refers to the plants typical marshy habit where frogs abound
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact Sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange (30 August 2003). Description based on Webb et al. (1988) and fresh specimens
References and further reading
Webb, C.J.; Sykes, W.R.; Garnock-Jones, P.J. 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Christchurch, DSIR Botany Division.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Ranunculus simulans Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/ranunculus-simulans/ (Date website was queried)