Ranunculus viridis


Ranunculus: From the Latin 'rana' frog, meaning little frog and probably refers to the plants typical marshy habit where frogs abound
viridis: From the Latin viridis 'green'

Common Name(s)

None Known

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Critical

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Threatened - Nationally Critical
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - DP, OL
2009 - DP, OL, St


Ranunculus viridis H.D.Wilson et Garn.-Jones



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites




Endemic. Stewart Island, Tin Range


Subalpine (c.700 m a.s.l.) in damp shaded sites, on ledges, hollows, crevices and clefts of rock outcrops in subalpine scrub.


Perennial herb forming rosettes 80-100 mm diameter, or compact patches up to 300 mm diameter. Rhizome stout, 4-8 mm diameter, apex covered in long persistent, fibrous petiolar remnants; roots numerous, fleshy 1.5 mm diameter. Petiole 15-30 mm long, base broadly sheathing, covered in fine cobwebbed hairs, deeply grooved on upper surface. Leaves 20-40 mm diameter, bright green above paler beneath, both surfaces very glossy, deltoid to orbicular or sub-reniform, thick and rigidly firm, lamina divided about 3/4 of the way into the 3-5-lobed segments, sparsely hairy, lobe apices surmounted by a penicillate hair tuft. Flowers 25-30 mm diameter, solitary intially on very short peduncles; these elongating at fruiting to c.30-50 mm length and broadening toward apex; ebracteate, green, usually purple-stained at base, clad in fine, cobwebbed hairs. Flowers with 5 sepals, these 15 mm long, greenish-yellow, finely hairy beneath, glabrescent above, broadly oblong-obovate, apices emarginate; petals 5 not or scarcely exceeding sepals, 10-12 x 6-8 mm, basal third green otherwise bright yellow, oblong to oblong-obovate, apex cucullate, base abruptly narrowed; nectary comprising 3 pits per petal with the central pit the largest; receptacle glabrescent, pale yellow-green. Fruiting head compact, 12 mm diameter, globose to ovoid. Achenes numerous, 1.9-2.6 mm long, semi glossy brown, obovate to broadly obovate, beak straight, tapering, 2-2.6 mm long.

Similar Taxa

Part of a small group of alpine ranunculi, with which species it shares some broad similarities with R. pinguis and R. sericophyllus. Ranunculus pinguis and R. viridis both have somewhat similar sparingly pilose to glabrous leaves, broad leaf segments and rather short petals which taper toward the base. Ranunculus viridis resembles R. sericophyllus in having penicillate hair tufts on the leaf segments and apices; the presence of fine cobwebbed hairs on the petiole bases and scapes, deeply divided leaves, broad petals, and especially by the 3 nectary pits. In some respects it is intermediate between both these species, but as it is allopatric from both and forms a stable, true breeding population, its claim to species rank seems clear. In other respects it is close to R. recens from which it differs by the flexible, softly hairy, rather than rigidly brittle, sparsely, stiffly hairy leaves; by the presence of penicillate hair tufts on the leaf segment apices (absent in R. recens); scapes 20 cf 10 mm long; brown rather than red straight rather than hooked achenes. It is allopatric from R. recens which On Stewart Island is a coastal species found only on sandy beaches and dune systems.


December - March

Flower Colours



December - May

Propagation Technique

Unknown from cultivation. However, likely to be rather difficult to maintain.


This species is an extremely narrow-range endemic, which so far is only known from a very small area on the upper slopes of Mt Allen, on the Tin Range.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.



Fact Sheet prepared for the NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 14 April 2006. Description adapted from Wilson & Garnock-Jones (1983) - see also de Lange et al. (2010).

References and further reading

de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Norton, D.A.; Rolfe, J.R.; Sawyer, J.W.D. 2010: Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch.

Wilson, H.D.; Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1983: Taxonomic notes on Stewart Island Ranunculus including two new species. New Zealand Journal of Botany 21: 341-345.

This page last updated on 16 Jan 2017