January 24, 2013

Plant of the month:
False Rue Anemone

As I gladly watch the deep freeze of 2013 recede, I'm now seriously ready to move out of hibernation and into spring planning mode.

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 canadenseand False Rue Anemone (Enemion biternatum) before the drought hit. And I'm looking forward to welcoming these natives back to the garden.

Wild Ginger and False Rue Anemone

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.

False Rue Anemone
I'm linking in with Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday (sorry I'm a day late) and Elephant's Eye on False Bay's Dozens for Diana. Thanks, friends, for hosting these excellent memes!

35 comments:

  1. I enjoy photos of wildflowers, many of them are very unassuming on a distance but get close to them and they can be very exciting. I don’t get out in the woods anymore but have a small piece of woodland in my own garden.
    When the last portion of snow went today I discovered that I have lots of trilliums on their way up already, that’s early for London! Can’t wait for the spring to get going properly :-)

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    1. I remember your posts about your Trilliums and your woodland plot. Very impressive! I'll look forward to seeing your pictures of wildflowers emerging--sounds like it will be soon. Yay!

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  2. I love them both and noticed the False Rue's foliage is up! I am ready for spring and hope we have a long one instead of summer slipping into April. I love wildflowers and am delighted to host WW. gail

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    1. I hope you have a nice long spring, too! We rarely do, but that is "normal" for us, unfortunately. Generally, spring doesn't really get going around here until April, and then it's done by late May. But we have excellent, mild, comfortable summers, so I guess that's the trade-off. Thanks, again, for hosting!

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  3. I love wildflowers too, and enjoyed reading your post on false rue anemone. I feel too that last year passed me by, but hopefully not this year too :). I am looking forward to your posts on other wild flowers in spring.

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    1. Thanks, Masha. The spring ephemerals come and go so fast. I hope I have more time to hunt them down and capture them this spring. They really are magical!

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  4. I'm looking forward to the wildflower's return! Hope you're finding warmth by the fireplace.

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    1. Hi Cat: Fortunately, I'm working from home this winter and didn't have any client meetings during the deep freeze. I only ventured out to get the mail and run a few errands. But now I have a severe case of cabin fever. Time to get out!

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  5. So you are about to end the winter, and in spring i can already visualize most of the posts in many blogs. But it seems more enchanting looking for wildflowers in your part of the world, Beth, happy weekend.

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    1. You are so kind, Andrea. I'm trying to end winter in my mind, but spring is still a long way off. Visiting your blog and others is great therapy, though. You have a great weekend, too!

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  6. Beth I don't think I have this but would be a wonderful addition to another woodland garden I want to do in the meadow area under the tree...I do hope you have lots of spring woodland natives to see for a long time this spring.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. Yes, it would be a great addition to your woodland garden. The flowers are pretty and look like so many other small, white flowers--making it hard to identify by the blooms. But the foliage is strange and beautiful and unique. If you want a native plant that appears in early to mid-spring, disappears in summer, and comes back in fall, this would be a good choice.

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  7. RE real vs. false rue anemone - opposite vs. alternate leaves will do it even when not in flower. Unfortunately, it's still Isopyrum in my memory banks. You were right about ephemeral ephemerals; my bloodroot was in bud one day, open the next, and gone on the third day!

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    1. Thanks for that tip! Yes, I guess it was Isopyrum for a long time, and now many are using Enemion--maybe with the recent reclassifications of plants (like Dicentra changing to Lamprocapnos)? Some of the sources use the two interchangeably, and some mention that they are synonyms. It makes my head spin. I was very sad about the quick passing of Bloodroot last spring. I hope it sticks around a little longer this spring!

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  8. Very pretty flower. The leaves remind me a bit of columbine.

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    1. I hadn't thought about the similarity to Columbine, but yes, there's a definite resemblance. The deep lobes make the foliage of both especially beautiful and unique!

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  9. Lovely foliage. Very delicate flower. I've never seen it in a garden or in the wild.

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    1. I've seen it more in the woods--sometimes in parking lots near parks. It's kind of unassuming unless you see it in mass groupings, but the foliage is nifty.

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  10. I see the leaves of the maidenhair fern. Perhaps yours is a little larger, and tougher? A delicate beauty!

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    1. Yes, it is similar--the lobed nature of it. I'm not sure if it's tougher, well I guess so if it stays evergreen in winter. I'll have to hunt for it next fall. I didn't realize it reappears after the summer.

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  11. I can only wish that such a beauty would grow here, it's too cold, too hot, and too dry...maybe I will find something similar.

    Jen

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    1. Hi Jen: Actually, our temperature extremes are probably similar to yours. Ours range from about -20F (-29C) to 105F (41C). Your climate might be drier in a "normal" year, but we were extremely dry this year. With that said, I'm not certain the False Rue Anemone survived. I hope so!

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    2. Oh so do I....

      Let me know if it makes it through the winter...I am going to put it on my list.

      Thanks!

      Jen

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  12. I don't have this one, although I've got Anemone thalictroides (Windflower, I think)...and the native Ginger, too. Love them all! So fun to think about them all coming up. I hope it will be soon ;)

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    1. I know, I'm starting to get anxious now. I couldn't even think about it until we got through the brutal cold snap. Now, we have a long wait until March. (But your spring starts earlier--lucky you!)

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  13. I have a Rue Anemone I bought several years ago at a native plant society's sale; I'm pretty sure it's not the same as this, though they certainly do look similar. I'd love to hear more about the Wild Ginger--I had thought of using it as a groundcover under a big evergreen, but the more I read about it, it sounded like it was hard to establish.

    Enjoyed the last post on John Muir--love his descriptive writing!

    P.S. Still no snow here!

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    1. Hi Rose: They're both lovely! I'm thinking I might try to transplant or plant more of the Wild Ginger. I just found out it crowds out Garlic Mustard! But I guess the trick is getting it established on a larger scale. Thanks--I'm on a Muir kick now. So much to learn! We keep getting light snows, nothing major which is nice. I hope you get some precipitation soon!

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  14. This was an interesting post. I'm lucky to have an abundance of FRA growing in the lightly wooded area next to our house and I'm sorry to say that I've always taken it for granted. Thanks for making me aware that it's uncommon and even endangered in some areas. I had no idea.

    Looking forward to new photos and info from your upcoming spring strolls through the woods.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I didn't realize it was endangered and less common in other areas, either. I don't have a lot of it here, but now I will try to encourage it a little more. :)

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  15. I also find wildflowers the most interesting to capture! The False Rue Anemone is really lovely, and I'm asking myself if it grows also here in Europe... I'm going to check right now. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Dona: See Janet's note below about Anemone nemerosa. I did a little research, and they do look very much alike. Let me know what you find out, too!

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  16. Pretty. Looks a little like our native anenome nemerosa, and has a similarly uplifting effect, that sprinkling of white under the trees.

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    1. Yes, I compared photos of the two, and they do look very similar--especially from a distance. Makes me anxious for spring!

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  17. Love the delicate leaves, I would plant just for the foliage. Today... I'm loving anything with color. We've been under siege with more snowfall and plunging temps. but that is our Winter and it's so much better than no snow.

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    1. Yes, I think the foliage is more interesting than the flowers, too, Carolyn. And I agree that it's better to have a normal winter. It's making a huge dent in the drought!

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