Friday, February 26, 2016

Flower Friday: Rue anemone's brief bloom is nothing to be sorry about

Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

Click on terms for botanical definitions.

Photo by Stacey Matrazzo
Rue anemone is a rare,  ephemeral, perennial herb. Its dainty white flowers have many stamens with white filaments and yellow anthers. The flowers are born solitary or in loose umbels on delicately slender stalks that rise above the foliage. Basal and stem leaves are glabrous and compound, comprised of three leaflets, each with three bluntly rounded lobes. They are arranged in whorls.

Rue anemone emerges and blooms in early spring and is gone by mid-summer. It occurs naturally in slope forests and limestone bluffs. In Florida, it is a state-listed endangered species because it is at its most southern range. It is much more prolific throughout the eastern United States.

Its tuberous, starchy roots of rue anemone can be eaten once they have been cooked. Native Americans made a tea from the roots to treat diarrhea and vomiting.

L: Rue anemone flowers and leaves. Photo by Eleanor Dietrich.
R: Loose umbel of flowers and whorl of leaves. Photo by Steven Faucette, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup or crowfoot family)
Native range: Gadsden, Leon and Liberty counties
Soil: Moist (but not inundated) organic soil
Exposure: Filtered sunlight
Growth habit: 6+"
Propagation: Seed
Garden tips: Rue anemone can be incorporated into a home landscape within its range, however, it does best in a pot where its conditions can be controlled.  

Rue anemone plants are occasionally available from nurseries that specialize in native plants. To find a nursery, visit plantrealflorida.org.

Click here to see where rue anemone occurs naturally.

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