Ranunculus hederaceus, Ivy-leaved Crowfoot
What is Ivy-leaved Crowfoot?
Ivy-leaved Crowfoot Ranunculus hederaceus is a small creeping annual or perennial. It is distinguished by its leaves all being ivy-shaped, and its tiny flowers; the petals are only 3 mm long and do not touch each other.
Where does it grow?
In Oxfordshire it is now only known at one site, on the Old Berkley Golf Course on Boars Hill. Originally it was in two seasonal streams on this site, but since 2017, only at the western one.
What is the history of Ivy-leaved Crowfoot in Oxfordshire?
It was first recorded in 1794 by Sibthorp at Stanton Harcourt, South Leigh and Eynsham Common.
By 1927, 23 sites were known to G C Druce in vice county 23. H J M Bowen in 1968 reported that it was rare and decreasing in Berkshire and absent from the Vale of White Horse.
The Flora of Oxfordshire (1998) reported four tetrads, but none since 1985. It was found at its current site in 2012 by Camilla Lambrick.
Does it grow anywhere else in the UK?
Ivy-leaved Crowfoot is frequent by the coast and in the west and north, but rare inland in central eastern England.
Conservation of Ivy-leaved Crowfoot
The current site has been managed by cattle grazing in the past with topping of thistles, and more recently by sheep grazing with topping in late summer.
In 2020 the soft rushes Juncus effusus in the seasonal stream where the Ivy-leaved Crowfoot grows became very dense and volunteers from the Abingdon Green Gym spent a morning digging the rushes out.
In October 2020 three plants and several seedlings were taken into cultivation by the Oxford Botanic Garden for propagation.
The Oxford Preservation Trust, which owns of the site, has been instrumental in conserving the species.