Ceratocephala falcata (L.) Pers., Syn. Pl. 1: 341 1805. (syn: Anemone cynosurus Griff.; Ceratocephala glaberrima Klok.; Ceratocephala leiocarpa Steven; Ceratocephala platyceras Stev.; Ceratocephala spicata Moench; Ceratocephala syriaca Stev.; Ranunculus falcatus L.; Ranunculus megarhynchus Blatter; Ranunculus parvulus J. F. Gmel.; Ranunculus pygmaeus Gueldenst. ex Ledeb.);
S. Central Europe, Medit. to Xinjiang: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bulgaria, Central European Rus, Cyprus, East European Russia, France, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, North Caucasus, Pakistan, Palestine, South European Russi, Spain, Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, Xinjiang, Yugoslaviaas per POWO;

L. ; leaves 3-fid or pinnatifid, scapes longer than the leaves 1-flowered. Ceratocephalus falcatus, Pers. ; H. f. & T. Fl. Ind. 28 C. orthoceras, DC. ; Deless. Ic. sel. i. t. 23. Anemone cynosurus, Griff. Ic. Pl. iv. t. 660, f. 1.
TEMPERATE HIMALAYA, from Kishtwar westwards. PUNJAB, dry grassy places at Peshawur, Steioart.—DISTRIB. S. E. Europe and W. Asia.
Glabrous or a little woolly. Leaves all radical, segments narrow-linear, entire or 3-fid ; petiole margined, tapering downwards. Scapes 1 or more, 1-3 in., longer than the leaves. Flowers small. Stamens 5-15. Achenes with the beak straight or curved. —A very variable little plant, of which 7 or 8 species have been made; Boissier reduces them to 2, a hooked and straight beaked, having never seen immediates, of which we have seen many.

(Attributions: IBIS Flora (Flora of British India))



Ceratocephalus falcatus (L.) Pers. Syn. Pl. 1:341, 1805
A small annual herb with all basal 3-fid leaves once or twice forked into linear segments; scape naked; flower terminal, yellow, 10-15 mm in diam; sepals 5, petals 5; stamens 5-15; achenes many on elongated receptacle, with basal pouch and falcate beak.
Commonly found on walls or dry grounds. Photographed from Pahalgam

I have heard of this because of medical literature on contact dermatitis from plants.. never seen it as plant… thanks
commonly also found and used in the middle east as herbal remedy, it juice is known to cause second degree burn like lesions …
so one has to be extra careful if handling these  or trying to remove the “weeds”
Metin A, Calka O, Akdeniz N, Behcet L. Phytodermatitis from Ceratocephalus falcatus Contact Dermatitis 2005;52:314-6.

A different genus from Ranunculaceae not discussed earlier I suppose.
Thanks … for additional information.

Thanks … One of the commonest plants on thatched walls in March April in Srinagar Kashmir. The flowers look like a mini Ranunculus. When I remember these plants I pity why there no digital cameras when we were so close to plants every day. The great beauty of plants in Ladakh I wonder I would be able to catch or not again. Collected lot of them between 1970-74

collected … by hand or on film? hope on film

Photography on film camera in early seventies was a great luxury. With a gazetted officer (doctor, engineer, lecturer) not getting more than Rs. 400 as salary, a coloured photo print costing 8-10 rupees, one could not afford to photograph all plants. Only a few of significance to be included in thesis were taken on black and white film.

tell me about it
that’s 100 rs more than what i was offered to teach a class of 300 1st and 2nd year med students, I did not belong to the correct group of influential people in the officialdom
i know i had to ask dad to help me with the bus fare to work
and the same people talked a lot to newspapers about brain drain!!!
but we were better photographers for the economy, had to really plot out what we wanted to photograph,
and made me learn my camera and it functions well and few filters that there were… usually begged them from microscopy lab techs or welders.
I asked you about collecting by hand back then because of the skin reactions, did you?
did you get skin allergies or burns?

Never with this plant, but I remember getting lot rashes one day while back from collection from area of my research in early seventies, compelling me to show it to a doctor. His first question was did you collect some new plants today. I went back home to look at my polythene bag and soon discovered that I had collected a twig of Rhus succedanea now known as Toxicodendron succedaneum, whose juice is supposed to be toxic for skin.

Thanks for a new plant Sir, not yet seen as I have never been to Kashmir..

Interesting plant Sir. Not known in Uttarakhand. Nice to see such species.

Toxicodendron succedaneum i guess would be the indian equivalent of NE usa ‘s poison sumac may be?
Sumac’s juice is toxic so are the berries to humans but birds during snow storms have this and a few other red berries in urban landscape for food…
googling shows bright red foliage…
does it get that red in fall or winter in Kashmir?

… has photographed them in his brain since that time. Now using digicam for showing them to us.

I will upload it separately soon




Catalogue of Life  POWO (Ranunculus falcatus L.)  The Plant List Ver.1.1  IPNI  GBIF (High resolution specimens) Flora of China  FOC illustration  Flora of Pakistan  FOP illustration  IBIS Flora (Flora of British India)
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