Ranunculus pseudo-laetus Tamura
Tall perennial, 30-70 cm high, with a creeping rootstock producing numerous fibrous roots and flowering stems. Stems up to 5 mm thick, usually much branched, with appressed or spreading hairs, especially near the base often glabrescent later. Basal leaves with long petioles (12-15 cm), densely patent-hairy, blade c. 10 cm wide, rounded-reniform, ternate, with broadly obovate segments, free to near the base, segments often deeply 2 or 3-lobed beyond the middle, lobes obovate, coarsely irregularly incised or dentate, teeth triangular, sharply pointed, appressed hairy on both surfaces. Stem leaves sessile, lower ones shortly petiolate, decreasing in size upwards, divided in the same way as the lower ones, upper most bract-l ike leaves with narrower linear or linear-lanceolate to lanceolate segments. Flowers 17-25 mm in diameter, yellow. Sepals 5-7 mm, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate with a wide membranous margin, acute or subobtuse, densely whitish-hairy. Petals 8-12 mm, roundish obovate, sometimes tapering into an indistinct claw. Achenes 2-2.5 (2.5) mm in diameter, numerous, suborbicular, slightly compressed with a distinct margin,inserted in an oblong glabrous receptacle. Style c. 0.3-0.5 mm, triangular, flattened, ± straight.
Fl. Per.: June-July.
Syntypes: Mussooree, Royle, Wallich Catalogue 4702 b & d.
Chitral: A-6 Tirich Mir, J. Chaudhri 162 (RAW), Gilgit: A-7 Kargah, A. Ghafoor 746 (KUH), B-6 Chitral, F. Coughey 8419 (RAW), Brir, M. Qaiser 1914 (KUH), Drosh, Sultanul Abedin 7931 (KUH), Bombrait, 29.7.1954, M.A. Siddiqi & A. Rahman s.n. (RAW), B,C-6: D ir: Kulandi, M. Alain Khan 94 (RAW), on way to D ir, Sultanul Abedin 7831 (KUH), Kurram: Shalozan, M.A. Siddigi & Y. Nasir 6539 (RAW), B-7 Swat: Utror, Sultanul Abedin 8438 (KUH), Mingora, Sultanul Abedin 8222 (KUH), Miandam, Y. Nasir 6825 (RAW), Kalam S.A. Farooqi 38 (KUM, Hazara: Kowai-Shogran, Sultanul Abedin & M. Qaiser 8794 (RAW), Abbottabad, E. Nasir & M.A. Siddiqi 419 (RAW), Changla Gali, 10.6.68, M.A. Siddigi & Y. Nasir s.n. (RAW), Dunga Gali, Y. Nasir & Khan 8794 (RAW), Naran, Shaukat Ali 49 (RAW), Siran, E. & Y. Nasir 8047 (RAW), Naran-Balakot, 5th mile, M. Qaiser & A. Ghafoor 5278 (KUH), Baltistan: B-8 Indus Valley, R.R. Stewart 20946 (RAW), Skardu, R.R. Stewart 20406 (RAW), Kashmir: C-8 Serimang, Y. Nasir & Khan 8372 (RAW), Burzil Chauki, R.R Stewart 19743 (RAW), Trarkhel, Y. Nasir & Z. Ali 5444 (RAW), Lipa Vy., 16.9.1969, Jan Mohd. s.n. (RAW), Lipa vy., M. Qaiser & A. Ghafoor 5015 (KUH), Dungian, Sultanul Abedin 9259 (KUH), C-7 Rawalpindi & Islamabad: Bhurban, Y. Nasir & R. Akhter 10814, 10826 (RAW), Patriata, Y. Nasir & R. Akhter 10219 (RAW), Bhurban, Y. Nasir & Nazir 10323 (RAW), below Patriata, Y. Nasir & Nazir 8474 (RAW), Murree, S.I. Ali 697 (KUH).
Distribution: Pamir. Western Tien-Shan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Himalaya.
Probably this is the most common species of Ranunculus in Pakistan, easily recognised by its size, leaf shape and distinct venation of leaves. The taxa Ranunculus laetus var, kashmiricus R.A. Qureshi & M.N. Chaudhri and Ranunculus laetus subsp. chitralicus are undoubtedly morphological variants of the widespread Ranunculus laetus. According to the authors (op.cit.) the former differs in the larger leaves and ultimate segment lobes that are cuneate-oblong, and the latter in h aving a vertical (not horizontal) rootstock and stem and leaves that are subglabrous or less hairy. In my opinion, these characters overlap and are not constant and reliable. Found from 1200-2740 m.