Snow buttercup is an extremely attractive buttercup, often found in dense clumps, with somewhat succulent leaves and stems. It frequently may be found blooming in areas recently uncovered by snow melt.
The one to several erect stems are 10-20 cm high. The leaves are mostly basal and are ternately (3-times) to palmately divided. The basal leaf blades are 1-3 cm long and have slender petioles. The leaf lobes are wedge shaped, and are often 3-lobed. The stem leaves are divided into narrowly elliptical-shaped segments.
The bright yellow flowers are found singly at the tips of the stems. The five shiny yellow petals are up to 2 cm long and wide. The sepals are green, spreading, and 3-8 mm long. Numerous (40-125) yellow stamens and numerous, tiny green pistils are found at the center of the flower. The beaks of the styles are slender, straight or somehwat curved, ranging from 0.8-1.5 mm long.
Snow buttercup is found in moist mountain meadows, and amidst moist talus slopes.
Snow buttercup is a widespread species, found throughout the mountainous west, from Alaska south to California, and east to the western approaches of the Great Plains.