Thalictrum thalictroides

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For false rue-anemones, see Enemion.
Thalictrum thalictroides
Rue Anemone Thalictrum thalictroides Flower 2479px.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Thalictrum
Species: T. thalictroides
Binomial name
Thalictrum thalictroides
(L.) A. J. Eames & B. Boivin

Anemone thalictroides L.
Anemonella thalictroides (L.) Spach

Thalictrum thalictroides or Anemonella thalictroides, the rue anemone,[1] is a herbaceous perennial native to woodland in eastern North America. It has white or pink flowers surrounded by a whorl of leaflets and blooms in spring.


Thalictrum thalictroides is a hairless plant growing from tuberous roots, with upright 10–30 cm tall, stems which end with flowers. The basal leaves have 10 to 30 cm long petioles and leaf blades that are 2×-ternately compound. The leaflets are widely rounded in shape and the ends are three lobed.

It flowers in early spring and the flowers are borne singularly, or in umbel-like inflorescences with 3 to 6 flowers. The flowers have short stems that hold the fully opened flowers above the foliage. The involucral bracts are 3-foliolate, and shaped like the leaves. The showy rounded flowers have many yellow stamens in the middle, and a cup of white to pinkish-lavender sepals.

In late spring, 3 to 4.5 mm long, ovoid to fusiform shaped fruits called achenes are released. The green achenes have 8 to 10 prominent veins and become dark brown when ripe.[2]


Originally described as Anemone thalictroides by Linnaeus in 1753, it was transferred to a new, monospecific genus, Anemonella, by Édouard Spach in 1839.[3] Although similar to plants in the genus Thalictrum, Sprach considered the diminutive size, umbelliform inflorescence, and tuberous roots of this species to be distinctive enough to designate a new genus. JRB Boivin considered this distinction suspect, and transferred the species to the genus Thalictrum in 1957.[4] Molecular evidence supports the placement of the species within Thalictrum,[5] and this placement is accepted by several modern treatments,[6] although The Plant List retains it in Anemonella.[7]


  1. ^ "Thalictrum thalictroides". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Flora of North America
  3. ^ Spach, E. 1839. Histoire naturelle des vegetaux Phanerogames, 7:186-409
  4. ^ Eames A. J. & B. Boivin. 1957. Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique. 89: 319.
  5. ^ Ro K. and B. A. McPhearson. 1997. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 25:445
  6. ^ Park, M. M. and D. Festerling. 1997. Thalictrum. In: Flora of North America. Vol. 3
  7. ^ "Anemonella thalictroides". The Plant List. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 

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