Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Meadow rue

Well, another busy weekend kept TPP away from his laptop, so the FFF is late again.  A few late summer plants are flowering to provide a bit of choice.  Perhaps the most visually appealing are the magic lilies, the naked ladies, or whatever you call them are a late summer amaryllis and our gardens have hundreds of them in flower.  The leaves come up in the early spring along with the narcissi. But then they die down and provide no hint of the flowering to come.  Then in the first week of August, clumps of flowering stems shoot up 30 or so inches tall and bear an umbel of big pink flowers.  
Hidden in plain view are lesser flowers, and one of them is a meadow rue, a member of the buttercup family in the genus Thalictrum (the species is uncertain, maybe T. rochebrunianum).  The individual flowers are quite small, but the plant bears a spray of hundreds.  The colored parts are either anthers or bracts (in this case, surrounding quite a few stamens.). Ours were being visited by emerald green orchard bees.  

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