Monday, April 13, 2009

Mind Trick

I sometimes feel like someone pulled a Jedi mind trick on me when I first started learning wildflowers. They told me that Rue Anemone and False Rue Anemone are confusing. (If only they had confidently told me that I would easily keep them straight in my head...) Since then, they have been confused in my mind, despite the easy differences. However different the plants are, keeping the names separate is another matter. This post is more for me, than for the expert botanists.

Thalictrum thalictroides (Rue Anemone) used to be called Anemonella thalictroides.
Enemion biternatum (False Rue Anemone) used to be called Isopyrum biternatum

Rue Anemone has more petaloid sepals, grows in more upland habitats, and has opposite leaves.

False Rue Anemone has four to five petaloid sepals, grows in low woods and moist soils, and has alternate leaves.

1 comment:

Keith said...

Excellent pictures, Ben! In fact, the Rue Anemone shot is one of the best I've ever seen of that plant. I enjoy finding it with an infusion of pink in the petaloid sepals (aka "tepals). I agree it's more upland - it's often found on somewhat barren clay slopes in thin woods, with very few herbaceous associates. Adding to the confusion in the northern third of Indiana is Anemone quinquefolia, Wood Anemone, which doesn't consistently have 5 leaflets. Sometimes an entire colony has plants with only 3 leaflets. Regarding Isopyrum biternatum, I enjoy seeing its purplish winter leaves.