Sp. Pl. 1: 551. 1753
Phenology: Flowering late winter–summer (Mar–Jul).
Habitat: Woods, meadows, fallow fields, and clearings
Elevation: 0-3100 m
St. Pierre and Miquelon, Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon, Ala., Alaska, Ark., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.
Three varieties of Ranunculus abortivus are sometimes recognized. Plants from New England and the northern Appalachians often have thick stems and orbiculate leaves with narrow, deep basal sinuses; this form has been called R. abortivus var. eucyclus. Plants from southeastern Virginia may have the upper bracts merely lobed rather than deeply divided as is usual in R. sect. Epirotes; those have been called R. arbortivus var. indivisus.
Native American tribes have used Ranunculus abortivus medicinally for a variety of purposes (D. E. Moerman 1986).