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This order has eight families and about 3,000 species.
Most the species in this order are herbs, vines and shrubs.
Plants in this order can be found in a wide range of habitats and are found in all regions of the world.

   Ranunculaceae - Buttercup Family
ColumbineThere are about 2,000 species of  vines and herbs in the buttercup family. Plants in this family are found all over the world, but are most common in temperate and cold regions. Leaves on most plants in this family alternate and male and female parts, the stamens and pistils, are separate. Most flowers have five or fewer petals. Plants include columbine, larkspur, buttercup, anemone, windflower, larkspur, marsh marigold, clematis and monkshood.

There are 15 species in this family. Plants in this family are found in South and Central America, the western Mediterranean, Asia, New Guinea, New Zealand and some islands in the South Pacific.


Plants in this family are found in Southeast Asia and Mexico and South America.

   Berberidaceae - Barberry Family

ColumbineThere are about 570 species in this family. Most of the plants in this family are thorny evergreen or deciduous shrubs. Plants have yellow wood, yellow, six-petaled flowers and fruit that is a red, blue, yellow, or purple berry. The plants in this species are typically found in temperate zones in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Asia. Species include the American or Allegheny barberry, the creeping barberry and the Japanese barberry.

  Menispermaceae - Moonseed Family

ColumbineMost of the plants in this family are climbing plants, have moon-shaped seeds and are found in tropical and subtropical regions. Chondrodendron tomentosum is a species in this family. It is used to make curare. Curare is used in medicine as a muscle-relaxant. Some Indian tribes in South America put it on arrow tips to stun animals.


There are two species in this family. Circaeaster can be found from the northwestern Himalayas to northwestern China and kingdonia can be found in northern and western China.

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