This buttercup is the earliest to bloom. Among the many Ranunculus spp. (buttercups) in Illinois, Early Buttercup can be distinguished by its diminutive size, relatively large flowers (at least ¾" across), and deeply lobed leaves (except for var. apricus). Both the blades of the basal leaves and the petals of the flowers are longer than they are wide; other buttercups often have leaf blades and flower petals that are about as wide as they are long. Mature specimens of Early Buttercup produce fibrous roots that are slightly swollen and fleshy, although not truly tuberous.