More Spring Woodland Wildflowers

More Spring Woodland Wildflowers

The emerging purple stems of the Blue Cohosh (Cauliphyllum thalictroides) are notable, while the early yellow flowers are rather insignificant.  It follows closely on the heels of the woodland anemones mentioned in my last post.  It grows in similar circumstances, in rich woodlands, frequently on north-facing slopes.



















The leaves soon turn to green.



Early Meadowrue (Thalictrum dioicum) is also beginning to bloom.    The species name tells us that male and female parts are on separate plants: a tassel of golden stamens pours from an umbrella of greenish white sepals on the male plant, while a fringe of mauve pistils emerges from the sepals of the female plant.




The delicate, lacy, scalloped foliage on long, thrice-divided stalks is as exquisite as the tiny flowers.

Early Meadow Rue is also found in rich woods, often, too, on north slopes.  It likes limestone–plant it next to a flagstone patio, as I have done.  Or if you have a shaded slope on your property, use as a guide the Design for a Shaded Rocky Slope in my book Design Your Natural Midwest Garden, available on my website.

Have you noticed a pattern here?

Thalictrum dioicum

Cauliphyllum thalictroides

and from the last post

Anemonella thalictroides

Let’s start with   Thalictrum dioicum

Thalictrum is from the Greek, referring to an ancient plant, lost to antiquity, that had divided leaves.

Thalictroides simply means to resemble Thalictrum.

Whenever -oides is added to a word, it means resembles.

Thalictrum dioicum in front and Cauliphyllum thalictroides in back.   The leaves of Cauliphyllum thalictroides resemble those of Thalictrum dioicum.



Anemonella thalictroides

Can you see the resemblance of the leaves?

Anemonella thalictroides is a spring ephemeral, as explained in the last post.

But the leaves of Thalictrum dioicum persist through the season, turning golden toward the end of summer.  The leaves of Cauliphyllum thalictroides remain green until November.

And here is the best reason of all to plant Blue Cohosh.


This integument is an iridescent blue which beggars all description.

Floyd Swink and Gerould Wilhelm

Plants of the Chicago Region















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