Rue Anemone
(Thalictrum thalictroides)

rue anemone 1.webp

Rue Anemone is a native erect perennial flower growing 4 to 8 inches high on smooth slender stems. The leaves are compound, both basal and on the stem. Basal leaves are stalked, 2 to 3 times parted, each leaflet distinct, stalked, rounded, with teeth (lobes) toward the tip. Basal leaves rise directly from a cluster of three or four elongated tubers. These leaves have a smooth surface with a fine network of veins and are green to purplish-green in color. Stems leaves resemble the basal leaves but can be
stalkless. There is usually a pair of 3-parted involucral bracts under the inflorescence which appear opposite each other forming a whorl and when stalkless they appear to be 6. These are bracts and not true leaves. Bracts are longer than wide and usually with 3 blunt lobes.

The inflorescence is a few-flowered (1 to 5 flowers) loose cluster (umbel shape) rising above the whorl of stem leaves. The umbel shape makes this species unique in the North American Thalictrum genus. The flowers are very delicate looking, 3/4 inch wide, on slender stalks, without petals but with the 5 to 10 showy sepals ranging in color from white to pinkish. The stamens number 7 to 30, with white filaments and yellow anthers. These are shorter than the sepals. Pistils are numerous. Fertile flowers produce from 8 to 12 1/3 inch long dry achenes with prominent veining (8 to 10)
on the sides.

Rue Anemone grows from a black tuberous root system, preferring loamy soil but not too much moisture - mesic to dry conditions with dappled sunlight. It will be found near wood edges, thickets, river banks. Re-seeding is the primary means of spreading. After flowering, it can have more shade when the upper tree canopy leafs out. The genus, Thalictrum, was originated from the Greek word  thaliktron by the Greek pharmacologist Dioscorides, who used it to describe plants with divided leaves. Likewise, the species name, thalictroides, is a reference to divided leaves of this plant. The name Anemone, is obscure but
is generally applied to what are called windflowers, and is thought by some to be from the Greek word anemos, meaning wind. But the studied opinion is that consideration must also given to the god Adonis, who in the Greek myth was killed while hunting a boar and from his blood came a red windflower [Anemone coronaria] and the name is a corruption of
an old Semitic word for Adonis.

Rue Anemone might be found in Duff Park along some trails and spreading on certain slopes: Forbes Trail, Sumac Trail, Black Cohosh Trail, Skullcap Trail, and Pasture Rose Trail.

All photographs taken at Duff Park by Pat Comas, Tom Morton, Kyle Selcer and Theo van de Venne.