Common water-crowfoot

Common Water-crowfoot

©Philip Precey

Common water-crowfoot

Scientific name: Ranunculus aquatilis
A member of the buttercup family, Common water-crowfoot displays white, buttercup-like flowers with yellow centres. It can form mats in ponds, ditches and streams during spring and summer.

Species information


Height: 10-50cm
Spread: up to 0.5m

Conservation status


When to see

May to September


Common water-crowfoot is the commonest species in a large group of water-plants that can be seen covering ponds, ditches and streams with mats of white flowers in spring and summer. It can be an annual or short-lived perennial plant, and has floating, lobed leaves and solitary white flowers, about 2cm across.

How to identify

Water-crowfoots are a difficult group to tell apart. Common Water-crowfoot has white flowers, buttercup-like, five-petalled flowers that have a yellow centre. Its floating leaves are circular and lobed (with three to seven lobes); its submerged leaves comprise many segments.



Did you know?

Common water-crowfoot is a member of the buttercup family.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.