Sunday, April 6, 2014

True or not Rue?

Rue anemone just opening - Mark Bower
Rue anemone in full bloom- REK
Mark Bower sent Barb pictures of this beautiful little flower that is scattered in the wooded areas along Bull Creek. It far outnumbers other wildflowers at this time of year. It is a rue anemone.  The trick is to separate it from false rue anemone which is also common in this area.

"True" rue anemone has 5-10 sepals which look like petals and can be either pink or white and has a whorl of bracts which look like leaves below the flower head and the true basal leaves will appear after it starts flowering.   False rue is always white, has 5 sepals which look like petals and three-lobed compound leaves which come off the stem.

Rue - note bracts on base of flower head
Both species occur mainly at the base of wooded slopes and bottom land. Rue tends to grow solitary plants on drier sites and open woods while false rue often forms colonies and prefers moist areas.

Mark's plant has 6 sepals and the whorl of bracts off the flower head rather than the stem and therefore is the true rue.  According to Dennison in Missouri Wild Flowers, "they are possibly the longest flowering species of early spring."  Or as Barb says, "Aren't they sweet?"
White trout lily, Erythronium albidum - Mark Bower
Mark's trout lily or dogtooth violet reminds us that it is time to get out and get low.  Most of the spring ephemeral wildflowers are tiny and fighting to get above the leaf litter.  Getting pictures like these means getting down on the ground but it is worth it and the ticks seem to enjoy it as well.

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, blooms for only one day - REK

No comments:

Post a Comment