99. Ranunculus distans Wallich ex Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts. 1: 53. 1834.
黄毛茛 huang mao gen
Ranunculus laetus Royle (1834), not Salisbury (1796); R. pseudolaetus Tamura.
Herbs perennial. Roots fibrous, subequally thick. Rhizomes ca. 2 cm. Stems 22--65 cm, hirsute below, strigose above, branched or simple. Basal leaves 1--3; petiole 4--19 cm, hirsute; blade 3-partite, cordate-pentagonal, 1.2--4.8 × 1.7--7.8 cm, herbaceous, strigose, base cordate, central lobe broadly rhombic, 3-lobed, margin irregularly dentate, apex acute; lateral lobes obliquely flabellate, unequally 2-lobed. Lower stem leaves similar to basal ones but petioles shorter, upper stem leaves subsessile or sessile. Monochasium terminal, (1 or)2--4-flowered; bracts leaflike. Flowers 1--2 cm in diam. Pedicel 1--4.5 cm. Receptacle glabrous. Sepals 5, ovate-elliptic or long elliptic, 3--5 mm, abaxially strigose. Petals 5, broadly obovate, 4.5--10 × 3--7.8 mm, nectary pit covered by a scale, apex rounded-truncate. Stamens numerous; anthers oblong. Aggregate fruit globose or broadly ovoid, 5--6 mm in diam.; carpels numerous. Achene bilaterally compressed, obliquely obovate, ca. 2.2 × 1.8 mm, glabrous, inconspicuously marginate; style persistent, ca. 0.6 mm, slightly recurved at apex. Fl. Jun--Oct.
Grassy slopes, forests, by streams; 2000--3800 m. S Xizang, NW Yunnan [Afghanistan, Bhutan, N India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, N Pakistan, Sikkim].
This species is more widely known as Ranunculus laetus, but that name is illegitimate, so the name R. distans, published simultaneously, must be used instead. Tamura (Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 19: 109. 1963) treated many Himalayan collections, including material from China, as a distinct species, R. pseudolaetus . This was distinguished from R. distans by the spreading, yellowish hairs on the stems and petioles and the more deeply divided leaves which are more densely hairy abaxially.