False Rue Anemone and Windlflower

False Rue Anemone
Isopyrum or Enemion biternatum
These darling little flowers are slowly spreading in the shade bed. The first time I noticed them there were only three or four roots and one flower. Today, there are several dozen tiny plants of False Rue Anemone, Enemion biternatum.

Every year when they come up I search for their name again since no matter what marker I put into that slope is washed away every winter by rain and melting snow.

It is easy to research though. Google Images responds cooperatively every year to my search for "tiny, woodland flowers with red stems".

False Rue Anemone leaf lobes
False Rue Anemone is easily confused with Windflower, Thalictrum thalictroides. Well, it is for my eyes and lack of experience trekking the woods. Here is the clincher - the depth of the leaf lobes.

Notice that they are deeply lobed. Then, click over to Native and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia.

You will see the difference immediately. Windflower leaves are similar but just different enough. If you consider the leaf shape, it is easy to accept that they are related to buttercups in the Ranunculae plant family. 

According to jstor.org related names include: Anemone lexingtoniensis, Enemion biternatum, Isopyrum biternatum and Isopyrum thalictroides
Red stems of Isopyrum

As summer heat comes, all evidence of False Rue Anemone disappears. It will reappear in the fall in some locations though I've never noticed it here.

The plants mature at 4 to 6 inches tall. Cold hardy to zone 4. Full to dappled shade. 

I've purchased many many seeds of native plants over the years. Most fail because we don't baby anything. Prairie Moon offers the seeds for you to try in your shady areas. 


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