Ranunculus fluitans 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Ranunculales Ranunculaceae

Scientific Name: Ranunculus fluitans Lam.
Common Name(s):
English River Water-crowfoot
French Renoncule des Rivières
Taxonomic Notes:

It has been shown that not only are some populations composed of complexes of polyploid clones attributable to a single taxon, but that other populations may be composed more or less entirely of hybrid combinations involving up to three parents and indistinguishable from each other or unhybridised plants without molecular analysis (Lansdown 2007). Several current and conflicting taxonomies (Castroviejo et al. 1986, Stace 1997, Jonsell 2000, Rothmaler 2005, van der Meijden 2005) co-exist and are applied in differing ways in Europe and it is clear from published information that both the identification guidance and recording are inconsistent between countries, regions and taxa.

Assessment of the taxa “most widely recognised” against the Red List Criteria is, at best, hopeful and an attempt has been made to explain any conclusions reached. Distribution data are mainly derived from the only truly critical account (Cook 1966) although it is clear that even that includes some inaccuracies. The exceptions to this are R. circinatus and R. hederaceus which may, at times, be misidentified but are taxonomically discrete.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-06-04
Assessor(s): Lansdown, R.V.
Reviewer(s): van de Weyer, K. & Bilz, M.
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
This species is classed as Least Concern as it is widespread with stable populations and does not face any major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Ranunculus fluitans is endemic to western Europe, where it occurs from Ireland, the United Kingdom, southern Sweden, France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungary to Italy.

Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Germany; Hungary; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna); Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Netherlands; Poland; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Ranunculus fluitans is classed as Vulnerable in Sweden and Near Threatened in Switzerland but according to most authors it is widespread and abundant throughout much of its range.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Ranunculus fluitans typically occurs in large, lowland mesotrophic to eutrophic rivers with stable, often gravel substrates however it may also occasionally be found in smaller water bodies such as streams or even ponds.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no known past, ongoing or future threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Ranunculus fluitans is classed as Vulnerable D2 in Sweden and Near Threatened in Switzerland. There are no further conservation measures in place or needed.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Association Tela Botanica. 2000–2010. Le reseau de la botanique francophone. Available at:

Castroviejo, S., Aedo, C., Lainz, M., Morales, R., Muñoz Garmendia, F., Nieto Feliner, G. and Paiva, J. (eds). 1986. Flora Iberica. Vol. 1. Real Jardín Botaníco, C.S.I.C. Servicio de Publicaciones, Madrid.

Cook, C.D.K. 1966. A monographic study of Ranunculus subgenus Batrachium (DC.) A. Gray. Botanische Staatsammlung München VI: 47-237.

Finnish Museum of Natural History. 1999. Atlas Florae Europaeae Database. Helsinki Available at:

Gärdenfors, U. 2005. Rödlistade arter i Sverie 2005 [The 2005 Red List of Swedish species] — Uppsala: ArtDatabanken.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2017).

Jonsell, B. 2000. Flora Nordica: Lycopodiaceae to Polygonaceae. The Bergius Foundation, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm.

Lansdown, R.V. 2007. The identity of Ranunculus subgenus Batrachium in the River Itchen. Environment Agency, Winchester.

Moser, D., Gygax, A., Bäumler, B., Wyler, N. and Palese, R. 2002. Red List of the Threatened Ferns and Flowering Plants of Switzerland (Rote Liste der gefährdeten Farn- und Blütenpflanzen der Schweiz). Bundesamt für Umwelt, Wald und Landschaft, Bern; Zentrum des Datenverbundnetzes der Schweizer Flora, Chambésy; Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Chambésy.

Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet. 2010. Den virtuella floran. Stockholm Available at:

Rothmaler, W. 2005. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Elsevier/Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg/ Berlin.

Stace, C.A. 1997. New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Van der Meijden, R. 2005. Heukels’ Flora van Nederland. Wolters, Noordhoff.

Welten, M. and Sutter, H.C.R. 1982. Verbreitungsatlas der Farn- und Blütenpflanzen der Schweiz. Vol. 1. Birkhauser Velag, Basel.

Citation: Lansdown, R.V. 2011. Ranunculus fluitans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T167918A6415235. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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