Ranunculus lingua

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Ranunculus lingua L.


Life form: perennial
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   4

Moisture: aquatic plant

Soil: loam

Arrangement: basal
Leaves: semi-evergreen

Shape: lanceolate

Division: simple

Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: nutlet

3A / f8da21 

Inflorescence: corymb

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified



Ranunculus lingua, commonly known as greater spearwort, is a perennial aquatic plant with golden yellow flowers.


Ranunculus lingua was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.


Ranunculus lingua is a species in the genus Ranunculus which contains approximately 432 to 2271 species and belongs to the family of the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family). The type species of the genus is Ranunculus auricomus.



The perennials are comparatively fast-growing and reach heights of 75 to 150 centimetres.


Ranunculus lingua is semi-deciduous. The fern-green, simple leaves are basal. They are lanceolate, entire and petiolate. The leaves are around 60 to 80 centimetres large and have a glabrous surface.

Flowers and Fruits

Ranunculus lingua produces corymbs of yellow five-stellate flowers from June to August.

The perennials produce nutlets.

Root System


Ranunculus lingua is native to the whole of Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, West-Siberia, East Siberia and Central Asia.


The perennials are aquatic plants and prefer a sunny situation. The substrate should be loamy and comparatively rich. They tolerate temperatures down to -35°C (USDA zone 4). The plants are suited for the shore areas of and in artificial standing bodies of water, the shores areas of and in natural standing bodies of water, natural streams, shallow water and bog gardens, the planting depth is at 20 centimetres.

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • aquatic plant
  • banks


Ranunculus lingua is considered a very valuable wild perennial. The recommended planting distance is 30 to 40 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 3 to 5.

Maintenance and Propagation

Propagate by sowing.



Ranunculus lingua is toxic.

Aeskulap  Please read the health issues note

Pests and Diseases

Honeydew, galls and distorted leaves are a sign for an infestation with aphids. Use an insecticide or control biologically , e.g. with parasitic wasps or predators such as Aphidoletes aphidimyza.

A powdery white coat on the plants indicates an infection with powdery mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

Gnaw marks and slime trails indicate a problem with slugs. Prevent infestation by improving hygiene and by regularly working the soil. In case of an infestation use slug pellets or nematodes to control pest. Handpicking the slug also helps, do this preferably in the evening hours.


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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