[The Buttercups of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup

Ranunculus triternatus

Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

The photo above shows the Dalles Mt. buttercup as seen in the Columbia Hills along the northern side of the Columbia River Gorge.........February 12, 2006. Note the large bright yellow flower which is roughly the size of a quarter and the dissected leaves.

Characteristics:

The Dalles Mountain buttercup is an attractive perennial wildflower which is related to sagebrush buttercup of which it once was considered a variety. The flower stems rise 3-8 cm high from a mass of dissected basal leaves. Individual leaves are triternately dissected into linear segments (See photos.) The stem leaves are similar but reduced in size. The herbage of leaves and stems is generally glabrous, lacking noticeable hairs.

One to three flowers are borne on long peduncles from near the top of each of the stems. The bright yellow petals are broadly ovate, measuring 4-12 mm long.


Habitat:

The Dalles Mountain buttercup is found primarily in fairly undisturbed grasslands or areas of mixed grasslands and sagebrush. Plants are generally found in deeper soils among bunch grasses rather than in the thinner rocky poorer soils which are frequently found on the hilsides.


Range:

The Dalles Mountain buttercup is endemic to the Columbia River Gorge and is found only on a handful of sites in Oregon and Washington between the Klickitat River and Goldendale, WA.


Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

An early blooming Dalles Mt. buttercup as seen in the Columbia Hills State Park.........February 4, 2009.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Another early blooming Dalles Mt. buttercup as seen in the Columbia Hills State Park.........February 4, 2009.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

The photo above shows a close-up of the Dalles Mt. buttercup as seen in the Columbia Hills along the northern side of the Columbia River Gorge.........March 17, 2007.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

The photo above shows a close-up of the Dalles Mt. buttercup as seen in the Columbia Hills along the northern side of the Columbia River Gorge.........March 17, 2007.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

The photo above shows the Dalles Mt. buttecup as seen in the Columbia Hills along the northern side of the Columbia River Gorge.........March 24, 2008.

Flower of Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Sepals and stem leaf of Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus v. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Additional photos of obscure buttercup as seen at the Columbia Hills State Park in the Columbia River Gorge..........February 15, 2009.

Beetle on flower of Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Additional photos of obscure buttercup as seen on WDFW land in Klickitat County, WA...........March 18, 2010. Note the tiny beetle on the flower in these photos. Other possible pollinators seen on this date included tiny black ants, a large bumblebee, a small blue-green mason bee and a slightly larger native black bee with pointed abdomen.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Habitat of Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Obscure buttercup as seen on steep, rocky slopes above Swale Creek several miles upstream from the Klickitat River...........April 12, 2012.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) with Canby's Desert Parsley (Lomatium canbyi) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) with western springbeauty (Claytonia lanceolata)

Obscure blooming late in the Columbia Hills, Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve.............April 3, 2013. Here it can be seen with both Canby's desert parsley (Lomatium canbyi) and western spring beauty (Claytonia lanceolata).

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Obscure buttercup as seen (left) on WDFW land in Klickitat County, WA............March 13, 2014. The photo at right shows obscure buttercup in the Columbia Hills NAP......March 25, 2016.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Early blooming obscure buttercups as seen in the Columbia Hills of Klickitat County, WA.........January 15, 2014. Such early blooming plants of this species are typically found at the base of large basalt rocks where they are protected from cold winds and they can pick up a bit of heat from the rocks which heat up on sunny winter days.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Obscure buttercups as seen in the Columbia Hills of Klickitat County, WA..........February 15, 2015.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus) - Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Obscure buttercups as seen in Columbia Hills State Park.........March 3, 2016.

Dalles Mountain Buttercup, Obscure Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus (Synonyms: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. reconditus, Ranunculus reconditus)

Obscure buttercup as seen in the Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve, eastern Columbia River Gorge............March 5, 2015.

Paul Slichter