Although this flower looks buttercup-like at a distance, it is distinguished from other buttercups by its globe like flowers. Occasional patches of this plant can be found in the meadows of the Highlands and borders, especially along riversides or loch margins. It is vulnerable to modern agriculture methods and has been in decline on the rest of the UK mainland since the early twentieth century. Seeing this plant now is a special event.
The base leaves are deeply toothed, in five sections, forming a roundish shape overall. Further up the stems the leaf-blades are smaller and narrower.
At the top of each stem is a single flower, 2-4cm in diameter, made up of 5-15 closely packed petals. The 4 sepals are also petal-like and enclose the flower, adding to the globe-like structure, or resembling a small cabbage. Many stamens hide in the middle of the flower attracting a variety of insects, which assist in pollination.
The seeds grow in segmented follicles which curve inwards as they point upwards. They are green, turning brown as they ripen.
Like all Ranunculus varieties it is mildly toxic to most animals and all humans.