Thalictrum thalictroides (L.) Eames & Boivin


Habitat: Open woods [Hardwood to mixed forest (forest, upland)]

Range: Southern Maine south to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas, west to Minnesota.

Aids to Identification: Unlike the taller and more common meadow-rue plants (Thalictrum pubescens and T. dioicum), rue-anemone only reaches a height of 9 inches. Flowers emerge before the leaves from thick tubers. The plant has 5-10 white or pinkish petal-like sepals with flowers borne in umbels. The leaves are opposite (or sometimes appearing whorled when the leaves are divided to the base). The leaves are compound with leaflets that are 3-lobed at the top and cordate at the base.

Ecological characteristics: A very rare plant found in open woods in extreme southern Maine.

Phenology: Flowering in early April into June.

Family: Ranunculaceae

Synonyms: Anemone thalictroides L.; Anemonella thalictroides (L.) Spach.; Syndesmon thalictroides (L.) Hoffmgg. ex Britt.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 2 towns in the following county: York

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Unknown, recently re-discovered in the state. Invasive plants may pose a threat to populations.