Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Ranunculus pallasii Schltdl.

English: Pallas' buttercup,

French: Renoncule de Pallas.

Ranunculaceae, Buttercup family.

Published in Animadv. Ranunc. 1: 15. 1819.

Type: Described from Alaska.

Synonymy. Coptidium pallasii (Schltdl.) Tzvelev, Byull. Mosk. Obshch. Ispyt. Prir., Biol. 99: 64. 1994.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 10–15 cm high; perennial herbs; not caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Roots filiform, 1 mm or less in diameter. Ground level or underground stems horizontal; rhizomatous; elongate. Caudex absent. Aerial stems prostrate (or floating, glabrous, rooting at the nodes); not filiform. Leaves present; arising singly from creeping rhizomes; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles 70–75 mm long. Leaf blades simple. Leaf blade bases attenuate. Leaves not grass-like. Blades (15–)20–36(–42) mm long, (3–)8–20(–25) mm wide (deeply cleft into 3 lobes or sometimes undivided), linear or obovate, flat, with three main veins. Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blades lobed or not lobed. Blade margins entire. Hydathodes present but inconspicuous. Blade apices acuminate, or rounded.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems shorter than the leaves; with leaves. Flowers solitary (usually, rarely a second flower). Flowers large. Sepals conventional; 3; free; 4–7 mm long; (6–)9–10 mm wide; purple; scarious. Calyx glabrous. Petals conventional; free; 7–9(–11); white; oblanceolate; unlobed; 10–12 mm long; 3–6 mm wide. Stamens 25–35; stamen filaments glabrous. Nectaries present (as a nectar scale attached on three sides for about half its length forming a pocket; glabrous). Receptacle 1–2 mm high (1 mm long in flower, 2 mm long and 4 mm broad in fruit); surface glabrous. Ovary carpels 50–60; apocarpous. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation parietal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit stalk 8–11 mm long; dry; an aggregate of achenes; ovoid (apical portion thickened distally beyond the slight transverse constriction); yellowish; 5–12 mm long; 9–15 mm wide (each achene 3.5–5.2 × 2.5–3.2 mm, beak persistent lanceolate, straight or curved); indehiscent. Styles remaining straight. Seeds 1.

Chromosome information. 2n = 32.

2n (4x) = 32. Flovik (1940, Svalbard); Sokolovskaya and Strelkova (1941, northern Russia, Kolguev, 1960); Sokolovskaya (1958, 1962); Zhukova (1967a, 1982, northeastern Asia); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwestern Alaska); Packer and McPherson (1974, northern Alaska); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1976, western Chukotka); Zhukova et al. (1977, northeastern Asia); Engelskjøn (1979, Siberia); Petrovsky and Zhukova (1981, Wrangel Island); Löve and Löve (1982, central Canada); Krogulevich (1984, Siberia); Lavrenko and Serditov (1984, 1985, northeastern Russia, 1991, northern Russia); Serditov (1989, Siberia?).

Ploidy levels recorded 4x.

Phenology. Phenology: flowers in July-August. The flowers are fragrant.

Indigenous knowledge. Alaskan people used the rootstock of this species as food early in the growing season, but when the leaves develop the rootstocks become bitter (Anderson 1939).

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: aquatic, imperfectly drained moist areas. Shallow water of bogs and pools in muskeg and tundra. Wet brackish meadows and sloughs along the seacoast (Porsild, 1957).

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Rare. Low Arctic. Arctic islands: Baffin.

Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar (gaps in North Atlantic and central Canadian areas). Northern Fennoscandian, Kanin–Pechora, Svalbard – Franz Joseph Land, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Taimyr – Severnaya Zemlya, Anabar–Olenyok, Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay.

General notes. Treated as Coptidium pallasii (Schltdl.) Tzvelev by Elven et al. (2003, 2005). In this subgenus (Palliasiantha) the glabrous nectary scale is attached on 3 sides for at least half its length, forming a pocket (sometimes the mouth of the pocket prolonged as a short flap), the free margin entire (Whittemore 1997).

Illustrations. • Habitat. Large stand of plants with occasional white flowers, but most plants setting seed. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit, Sylvia Grinnell Park. 31 July, 2005. Aiken 05–064. CAN. 5886937. • Close-up of rhizome. Leaves and roots arising from floating rhizome. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit, Sylvia Grinnell Park. 31 July, 2005. Aiken 05–064. CAN. • Flower and bud. Plants with relatively large white flowers. Note simple young leaves and bud. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit, Sylvia Grinnell Park. 31 July, 2005. Aiken 05–064. CAN. 5886937. • Flower and fruit. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit, Sylvia Grinnell Park. 31 July, 2005. Aiken 05–064. CAN 5886937. • Close-up of plant. Fleshy aquatic plant with long horizontal stems producing roots at the nodes. Leaves with swollen petioles and blades that are both entire and divided towards the apex. A flower borne on a swollen peduncle. Drawing by Mrs. S. Bergh and Mrs. L. Barstad based on herbarium specimen. Svalbard, Nordenskiöld land, Fivelffllyene I Adventdalen. 5 August, 1924. J. Lid. With permission of the Botanical Museum, University of Oslo, Norway. • Close-up of flower. Left, underside of flower about 2 cm in diameter, with three sepals and numerous petals. Right, surface view of flower with numerous petals, some sterile stamens becoming petaloid, anthers, and developing carpels. Drawing by Mrs. S. Bergh and Mrs. L. Barstad based on herbarium specimen. Svalbard, Nordenskiöld land, Fivelfflllyene I Adventdalen. 5 August, 1924. J. Lid. With permission of the Botanical Museum, University of Oslo, Norway. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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