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Family: Ranunculaceae (anemone family)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Order: Ranunculales

Sixty-two genera and 2525 species (worldwide), with seven genera and 35 species native to southern Africa, and two species naturalised. An additional 12 genera and 47 species are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Dreyer and Jordaan (2000).


About 120 species (worldwide), with three species native to southern Africa. An additional two species are cultivated in the region.


About 230 species (temperate regions and tropical Africa), with 14 species native to southern Africa. An additional 12 species are cultivated in the region.


About eight species, all native to southern Africa, with one species, Knowltonia transvaalensis, extending further north into central Africa.


Fifteen species (mainly temperate regions), with one species, Myosurus minimus (Mousetail), endemic to the Western Cape.



About 250 species (cosmopolitan), with seven species native to southern Africa, and two naturalised. An additional five species are cultivated in the region.


About 85 species (America, Africa), with two species native to southern Africa. An additional three species are cultivated in southern Africa.

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002). Note that Paeonia has been transferred to the Paeoniaceae (see classification of flowering plants).


Three species cultivated.

Adonis aestivalis

Indigenous from Europe to southwest Asia.


Aquilegia (columbine genus)

Five species cultivated.



One species cultivated - Caltha palustris (Marsh marigold, Kingcups), native to the northern Temperate region.



Three species cultivated.



Four species cultivated.



Three species cultivated.


Two species cultivated - Nigella damscena (Love-in-a-Mist), native to southern Europe, and Nigella hispanica, native to Spain and France.



Two species cultivated - Pulsatilla montana, native to France and Spain, and Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque flower), native to Europe.


Trollius chinensis

Native to China.



  • Dreyer, L.L. and Jordaan, M. 2000. Ranunculaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 463-464. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.


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