Flowers showy, about ¾ inch wide, on a relatively small plant; petals 5, yellow, often recurved (bent backwards), about twice as long as the sepals; stamens many. Blooms March–May. Leaves longer than broad, mostly basal, compound, 3- to 5-divided, with linear to oblong, rounded segments that may be deeply lobed, and sometimes with a few teeth. Stems and leaves often with hairs.
There are nearly 20 species of Ranunculus in Missouri.