One of the most exciting plans is to spend more quality time in the woods with my camera and the local native wildflowers (sounds thrilling, right?). Last spring sped by way too quickly for me to capture many shots--a lot of the ephemerals appeared and disappeared within days during our early, unseasonably warm spring.
I did manage to get a quick glance at a patch of Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) and False Rue Anemone (Enemion biternatum) before the drought hit. And I'm looking forward to welcoming these natives back to the garden.
The Wild Ginger will have to wait for its special month until I can get some decent shots of its unique ground-hugging blooms. So it's time to highlight its frilly companion on the right in the photo above.
False Rue Anemone, a member of the Ranunculaceae family, looks a lot like Rue Anemone. The flowers and foliage are similar. The main differences are the deeply lobed foliage and always-five sepal blooms of the "false" version. Click here for a nice comparison of the two plants. I hope to get some better shots of the blooms next spring, too.
While False Rue Anemone seems rather common around here, I was surprised to find out that, while it's native to the lower 48 U.S. states, it's uncommon and even endangered in many states. Click here for a map of its common distribution today.
A few fun facts about this woodland beauty, culled from the University of Illinois Extension and the Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium:
- Appears and blooms in early to mid-spring, goes dormant in summer, and reappears in autumn. (Apparently it's evergreen through the winter, but I couldn't see it under the ice and snow in my garden.)
- Grows in partial shade, open woods, and thickets; prefers moist, well-drained sites.
- Thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7.
- Appears as an erect, 4" to 16" perennial, with slender stems; roots are small tuber-like masses.
While I realize we have weeks of winter left (and I'll try to enjoy them day-by-day), knowing these beauties will greet me in April will make the wait easier.