An annual of dry disturbed habitats on a range of neutral and calcareous soils. Typical sites include broken turf on cliff edges, open, droughted slopes and banks, rabbit scrapes, tracks, poached gateways, building sites and gardens. The seeds appear to be long-lived, and populations may reappear after disturbance or persist for many years. Lowland.
The retreat of this species south-westwards in Britain had already taken place by 1930. Its distribution appears to be stable within its core areas. It is rare and decreasing in Ireland.
Suboceanic Southern-temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.3
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16
Annual Precipitation (mm): 834
Height (cm): 40
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 497
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 11
Atlas Change Index: -0.08
Weighted Changed Factor: 69
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Scarce Atlas Account
Ranunculus parviflorus L.
Status: not scarce
One of the few annual buttercups found in Britain, R. parviflorus is a plant of dry open ground, growing in a variety of temporary habitats such as rabbit scrapes, track sides, flower beds, gravel paths, broken turf on cliff edges and building sites. Low competition and some disturbance seem necessary. Associated species are usually commoner annual weeds such as Cardamine hirsuta, Cerastium glomeratum, Fumaria spp., Veronica arvensis and V. polita.
Strongly opportunist, this species adapts easily to available water and nutrients. Plants can vary from tiny rosettes with a single flower which fruit quickly and dry up, to many-branched individuals up to 30 cm across which may continue flowering from April to Christmas in a damp mild year. Seed is set freely, and winter germination produces cohorts of juveniles which compete for adult space. It appears to have a seedbank as the species may appear irregularly but persistently in an area for decades.
Like many of the more continental annual weeds, R. parviflorus has declined from intensive farming, the use of herbicides, and the general ‘tidying’ of the countryside and settlements.
R. parviflorus is a Mediterranean and western European species, which extends northwards to Britain and Ireland (Jalas & Suominen 1989).