Stems erect or decumbent from short caudices, 3-22 cm, glabrous, each with 1-5 flowers. Roots slender, 0.5-1 mm thick. Basal leaves persistent, blades cordate or reniform, 3-parted, 0.5-1.8 × 0.8-3 cm, segments again lobed, base truncate or nearly cordate, apices of segments rounded. Flowers: pedicels pubescent or glabrous; receptacle glabrous or pubescent; sepals 3-5 × 1-4 mm, pubescent or glabrous; petals 5, 3-6 × 1-5 mm; nectary scale glabrous. Heads of achenes cylindric to ovoid-cylindric, 4-13 × 4-6 mm; achenes 1.2-2.4 × 0.8-2 mm, glabrous; beak subulate, curved or hooked, 0.4-0.8 mm. 2n = 16.
Phenology: Flowering late spring–summer (Jun–Aug).
Habitat: Open arctic and alpine slopes
Elevation: 0-4000 m
Alta., B.C., N.W.T., Yukon, Alaska, Colo., Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo., Asia.
Plants with small achenes are often separated as Ranunculus verecundus. Achene size varies continuously over the range given, however, and it is not correlated with the minor shape difference mentioned by L. D. Benson (1948).