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N. Walker

Rue Anemone grows throughout the eastern U.S. in old fields, wooded and partially wooded areas. The plant tolerates shade. Botanists place this plant in either the Anemonella or the Thalictrum genus. The name Anemonella is derived from the similarity of this flower to a small anemone (windflower). The genus name "thalictrum" and the species name "thalictroides" are derived from the resemblance of the 3-lobed leaves with the meadow rue (Thalictrum). The combination of the two classification origins result in common name of "rue anemone". The Rue Anemone grows to about 9 inches tall from tuberous roots.

Rue Anemone blooms in the first wave of wildflowers in spring. It has white flowers with 5 to 10 petals (actually sepals). The flowers are in clusters and have whorls of small leaves just below the flowers. The flower's appearance overlaps that of Hepatica, which has no leaves below the bloom. Also the Rue Anemone has yellow anthers versus white for the Hepatica. Also the stems of the Rue are smooth as opposed to fuzzy for the Hepatica. The leaves of the Rue have a characteristic 3 lobed shape. The flowers may have a slightly pinkish tinge in some regions. The plant becomes dormant in summer. Indians made a tea from the roots for medicinal purposes. They may also have eaten the slightly poisonous roots for food. Similar Species: False Rue Anemone (Isopyrum biternatum) usually has five parts to the flower and the leaflets of the three part leaves are truly lobed into three lobes, not just notched. See the section on False Rue Anemone. Meadow Rue grows larger and likes wet places along streams or drainage areas.