Description from Flora of China
Ranunculus laetus Royle (1834), not Salisbury (1796); R. pseudolaetus Tamura.
Herbs perennial. Roots fibrous, subequally thick. Rhizomes ca. 2 cm. Stems 22--65 cm, hirsute below, strigose above, branched or simple. Basal leaves 1--3; petiole 4--19 cm, hirsute; blade 3-partite, cordate-pentagonal, 1.2--4.8 × 1.7--7.8 cm, herbaceous, strigose, base cordate, central lobe broadly rhombic, 3-lobed, margin irregularly dentate, apex acute; lateral lobes obliquely flabellate, unequally 2-lobed. Lower stem leaves similar to basal ones but petioles shorter, upper stem leaves subsessile or sessile. Monochasium terminal, (1 or)2--4-flowered; bracts leaflike. Flowers 1--2 cm in diam. Pedicel 1--4.5 cm. Receptacle glabrous. Sepals 5, ovate-elliptic or long elliptic, 3--5 mm, abaxially strigose. Petals 5, broadly obovate, 4.5--10 × 3--7.8 mm, nectary pit covered by a scale, apex rounded-truncate. Stamens numerous; anthers oblong. Aggregate fruit globose or broadly ovoid, 5--6 mm in diam.; carpels numerous. Achene bilaterally compressed, obliquely obovate, ca. 2.2 × 1.8 mm, glabrous, inconspicuously marginate; style persistent, ca. 0.6 mm, slightly recurved at apex. Fl. Jun--Oct.
This species is more widely known as Ranunculus laetus, but that name is illegitimate, so the name R. distans, published simultaneously, must be used instead. Tamura (Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 19: 109. 1963) treated many Himalayan collections, including material from China, as a distinct species, R. pseudolaetus . This was distinguished from R. distans by the spreading, yellowish hairs on the stems and petioles and the more deeply divided leaves which are more densely hairy abaxially.
Grassy slopes, forests, by streams; 2000--3800 m. S Xizang, NW Yunnan [Afghanistan, Bhutan, N India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, N Pakistan, Sikkim].