Three-lobed water-crowfoot (Ranunculus tripartitus)

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Three-lobed water-crowfoot in flower
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Three-lobed water-crowfoot fact file

Three-lobed water-crowfoot description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumAnthophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderRanunculales
FamilyRanunculaceae
GenusRanunculus

This scarce member of the buttercup family is a creeping plant of mud and shallow water. The stem can be either single or branched, with the upper part and the leaves floating on the surface. The leaves have three-lobes, hence the common English name, and the small white flowers are held clear of the water surface on stems.

Size
Stem length: 5-60cm
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Three-lobed water-crowfoot biology

This species is intolerant of competition from other plants and thrives best in areas that are cut up by the movement of livestock or traffic, and where water levels are constantly changing. It can behave as either an annual or a perennial plant.

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Three-lobed water-crowfoot range

This is a plant of coastal strips and whose range in Britain has been drastically reduced. Although it has been formerly recorded in over 50 ten kilometre squares along the south coasts of England and South Wales, and from Herefordshire, it is now chiefly restricted to Cornwall. However, recent surveys have re-discovered plants on several sites in Devon. In Europe it is found from south-west Spain to northern Germany.

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Three-lobed water-crowfoot habitat

Three-lobed water-crowfoot is found in shallow or seasonal water bodies on heaths, and has a liking for ruts in cart tracks and gateways, shallow ditches and puddles, especially if these dry up during the summer months.

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Three-lobed water-crowfoot status

classified as Vulnerable in the UK.

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Three-lobed water-crowfoot threats

The loss of its heathland habitat and the draining of its pools are the chief threat to three-lobed water-crowfoot.

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Three-lobed water-crowfoot conservation

Three-lobed water-crowfoot is listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plans (UK BAP) and is included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme. It is also part of Plantlife's 'Back from the Brink' project, which aims to restore the fortunes of the UK's rarest plants, and Plantlife are lead partners on implementing plans for this species.

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Authentication

Information supplied by English Nature.

http://www.english-nature.org.uk

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Glossary

Annual
Lives or grows for just one year.
Perennial
Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
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References

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Image credit

Three-lobed water-crowfoot in flower  
Three-lobed water-crowfoot in flower

© R. V. Lansdown

Richard Lansdown
rlansdown@ardeola.demon.co.uk

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