Even though we have quantities of native Buttercups, it is this handsome foreigner that is the most abundant; this is the species that is found in fields everywhere, the one that delights the little folks and figures in many of their childish games. The opposite picture shows well the character of the flower and its leaves, but paint cannot be made to do justice to the dazzling, shining, golden yellow Buttercup.
The leaves and stems of the Crowfoots are very acrid, but not poisonous; on this account they are shunned by cattle and horses. This accounts in part for their abundance in most fields and pastures.
A. Tall Meadow Rue.
B. Pasque Flower.
Tall Meadow Rue (Thalictrum Polygamum) is one of the characteristic plants of swamps and edges of streams. It is very ambitious and determined that none of its neighbors shall raise their heads above it. If the surrounding vegetation averages one foot in height, this is sure to attain a height of two feet. Should its neighboring plants be three or four feet high, we will find the plumey flowers of this species triumphantly waving above them on stems five, six or even seven feet tall.
Naturally a flower that thrusts itself so prominently into view, has many insect visitors and is often cross-pollenized by them. It is very capable of looking out for itself, for it has often three kinds of flowers on one plant, staminate, pistillate and perfect.
The stalk is rather stout and grooved, pale green, stained with maroon. The long stemmed leaves are many times compounded into small, lobed leaflets of a pale, dull blue-green color. The flowers are in feathery clusters; each individual flower having numerous white filaments, no petals, but usually four or five early falling sepals.
From June to September we may find the mist-like flowers of Meadow Rue in swamps, from Labrador to Manitoba and south through the United States.
Early Meadow Rue (T. Dioicum) is a smaller and more slender species found in open woods and on rocky hillsides. Staminate, brown-tipped flowers grow on some plants and pale greenish pistillate ones grow on others.
Pasque Flower (Anemone Patens) has a solitary erect flower with five to seven purplish sepals. Leaves divided and cut into narrow, acute lobes. Both stem and leaves covered with silky hairs. This species is found on prairies from Wis. and Montana southwards.
A. Wood Anemone; Wind Flower. Anemone quinquefolia. B. Rue Anemone. Anemonella thalictroides.