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FutureStarrFalse Rue Anemone
This herbaceous perennial plant is up to 1' tall, branching sparingly. It produces both basal and alternate compound leaves with a similar appearance. The stems are reddish green, hairless, and slender. The compound leaves are trifoliate and they have slender petioles. The terminal leaflet has a longer petiolule (basal stalklet) than the two lateral leaflets. These leaflets are up to 1" long and ï¿½" across. They are ternately lobed, cleft, and hairless. The white flowers occur individually or in groups of 2-3. Each flower spans about ï¿½" across, consisting of 5 petal-like sepals that are white, no petals, several slender stamens with yellow anthers, and a few green pistils in the center. The blooming period occurs during mid-spring and lasts about 3 weeks. Afterwards, the pistils are replaced by beaked follicles (seedpods that split open along one side) that individually contain several seeds. The root system is fibrous and occasionally small tubers are produced. Vegetative clones of the mother plant are often produced from these tubers; reproduction also occurs by the seeds. False Rue Anemone often forms dense colonies of plants.Except for visitors of the flowers, little is known about the floral-faunal relations of this species. The pollen of the flowers attracts medium- to small-sized bees and flies primarily, including Halictid bees (Halictus spp., Lasioglossum spp., etc.), Andrenid bees (Andrena spp.), honeybees, Syrphid flies, and other flies. The bees collect pollen, while the flies feed on pollen. Occasionally various beetles also feed on the pollen, but they are less effective at cross-pollination. Some of these insects probably search in vain for nectar, as the flowers lack nectaries. The foliage of False Rue Anemone is rarely browsed by mammalian herbivores (personal observation). Another scientific name for False Rue Anemone is Isopyrum biternatum.
This species blooms a little earlier than many other spring wildflowers in a woodlands, and it has attractive flowers and foliage. Two other members of the Buttercup family that occur in woodlands, Anemone quinequefolia (Wood Anemone) and Anemonella thalictroides (Rue Anemone), resemble False Rue Anemone. Wood Anemone has leaflets that are coarsely serrated along the margins and their lobes taper to sharp points; it also differs from False Rue Anemone by the whorl of leaves underneath its flowers. Rue Anemone also has whorled leaves underneath its flowers, otherwise its foliage is very similar to that of False Rue Anemone (which has alternate leaves along the stems). While Wood Anemone and Rue Anemone produce small clusters of beaked achenes (each containing a single seed within a hardened exterior), False Rue Anemone produces small clusters of beaked follicles that each contain 2 or more seeds. Sometimes the white flowers of Wood Anemone and Rue Anemone have more than 5 petal-like sepals, while the flowers of False Rue Anemone never have more than 5 petal-like sepals. Notes: Eloise Butler's records show that she first obtained False Rue Anemone in 1908 from the Minnehaha area (near Ft. Snelling); additional plants in 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914; then she also obtained over two hundred plants of this species on April 10-12, 1915 from an area at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis that she called "Fairy Land"; more were obtained in 1917, '21, and '23. Her records use the older botanical name Isopyrum. It is evidently a long-lived species as later curators have never recorded planting it. The species is native to the SE Minnesota woods and most of the counties in the east portion of central Minnesota. This is the only species of Enemion found in Minnesota. Four other species are known in North America but all are found only on the west coast and thus our species is named 'Eastern' False Rue Anemone as it is usually found in the eastern half of the U.S. and Ontario in CanadaThe false rue-anemone is often confused with the similar species, the rue-anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides). The false rue-anemone holds its flowers in leaf axils, most often singly. The flowers of a rue-anemone appear in a cluster above a whorl of leaf-like bracts, most often in groups of 3-6. The rue-anemone has a greater variation in flower size, and while false rue-anemones always have five sepals, rue-anemones most often have more than five. Sometimes rue-anemone sepals are pale to dark pink, whereas false rue-anemone sepals are always white. False rue-anemones have a small cluster of no more than six green carpels in the center of the flower, while rue-anemones sometimes have as many as fifteen. False rue-anemones usually have deep clefts in their leaves, while rue-anemones do not. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)