Stems erect or ascending from short caudices, 0.6-3.5 cm (sometimes longer in fruit), each with 1-2 flowers. Roots slender, 0.1-0.6 mm thick. Basal leaves persistent, blades reniform to transversely elliptic or semicircular, 3-parted or -divided, 0.45-0.9 × 0.6-1.3 cm, at least lateral segments again lobed, base truncate or nearly cordate, margins entire, apex rounded to obtuse. Flowers: pedicels glabrous or pubescent; receptacle glabrous; sepals 2-4 × 1.2-1.6 mm, abaxially sparsely hairy, hairs colorless; petals 5, 1.2-3.5 × 1.1-2.8 mm; nectary scale glabrous. Heads of achenes nearly globose to cylindric, 2.5-7 × 2.5-5 mm; achenes 1-1.2 × 0.8-1.1 mm, glabrous; beak subulate, straight or curved, 0.3-0.7 mm. 2 n = 16. Flowering summer (Jul-Sep). Arctic and alpine meadows and slopes, usually around persistent snow patches; 0-4000 m; Greenland; Alta., B.C., Nfld., N.W.T., Que., Yukon; Alaska, Colo., Idaho, Mont., Utah, Wyo.; Europe (Spitsbergen). Ranunculus pygmaeus var. langeana has been described as having deeply divided basal leaves and strongly elongate heads of achenes (at least 5 mm). These characteristics are not well correlated with one another, however, and the variety does not seem natural.