The Magnoliidae
Family Overview - The Ranunculales
Ranunculaceae - the Buttercup Family
Diversity:  50 genera and about 1900 species, mostly herbaceous, with Ranunculus (buttercup) the largest (400 species)

Distribution:  Temperate northern hemisphere with diversity in eastern Asia and North America - 12 genera with 51 species in Texas.

Floral structure:

calyx and corolla usually differentiated

Significant features:  herbaceous, apocarpous herbs with sheathing petioles and leaf blades often palmately veined and lobed.  Derived elements of the family include Delphinium (Larkspur) and Aquilegia (columbine), both with perianth specializations, and Thalictrum (anemophily).

Ranunculus sardous - flower at anthesis Ranunculus sardous - flower past anthesis with carpels maturing Ranunculus sardous - flower well past anthesis with carpels maturing to form an aggregate of achenes
Aquilegia canadensis flower at anthesis with spurred petals Aquilegia flower past anthesis with apocarpous gynoecium maturing to form an aggregate of follicles
Thalictrum - a dioecious species - staminate plant Thalictrum - pistillate plant with each flower mature (aggregate of achenes)

More information on the Ranunculaceae

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