Plant Image

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Ceratocephala testiculata - curveseed butterwort

Synonyms: Ceratocephala falcata, Ceratocephala orthoceras, Ranunculus falcatus, Ranunculus testiculatus
Other Common Names: hornseed buttercup, curveseed buttercup, bur buttercup
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Ranunculaceae

line decor
  Home   Plant Communities Plant List Search Forbs and Subshrubs Search Grasses Search Woody Plants Additional Resources About this Website
line decor

Click on Any Image for a Larger View

Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: A winter annual that emerges, flowers, and sets fruits in the spring. Plants often form dense mats that carpet large areas.
Identification notes: Annual with 3-parted basal leaves; yellow petals.
Height: 2 to 4 inches


Habitat Description: Semi-deserts, foothills, meadows, woodlands, shrublands and disturbed areas, especially grasslands. This plant seems to be expanding its range rapidly in arid and semiarid areas.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1500 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow     Shape: Regular not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Apr - May
Description: Flowers may have as few as 2 petals, instead of the usual 5 petals of this family. Flowers have 5 pale green sepals, 5 or more yellow stamens, and a dense head of greenish-yellow pistils. The flower petals are small, measuring less than 1/4 inch long.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Pale green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Dissected     Leaf Attachment: Basal     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Short stems are sparsely covered with fine hairs. Basal leaf blades are divided into finger-like segments, resembling a bird’s foot. Each plant produces several erect stems up to 3-1/4 inches long.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Pale green to light brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Soft, green heads of fruit turn brown and gray and produce a cluster of hard, spiny fruits.
Seed Notes: Achenes are up to 1/2 inch long and have 2 bulges on the base with a sharp beak on the end. Achenes are readily spread by humans and wildlife. The plant has become invasive in many areas.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
Legal Disclaimer