The western buttercup, ranunculus occidentalis
, is widespread across the Pacific states, occurring in a wide range of habitats and elevations. There are seven varieties, differing primarily in the shape of the outermost leaf segments, and the dimensions of the petals.
Leaves are relatively large, and usually (palmately) divided into three main lobes, each partially subdivided into smaller, toothed segments. Leaves are similar in width and length. They grow around the base and lower section of the stems, on long stalks. Leaves have a covering of short, soft hairs.
Flowers are formed of five broad, green sepals, strongly bent backwards from the base, and five or six yellow petals. At the center are a group of greenish pistils surrounded by a ring of yellow stamens. Petal surfaces are shiny.