RANUNCULACEAE (Buttercup)

 

CAROLINA ANEMONE (Anemone caroliniana)


Prairie Buttercup
(Ranunculus fascicularis)

 Leather Flower
(Clematis crispa)
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Prairie Buttercup is also known as Early Buttercup. This is an upright, hairy perennial with shiny flowers that appear to have been "buttered." The flowers are on stalks arising from the leaf axil; five sepals (modified leaves), petals are absent; numerous stamens. Look for this sparkling plant to flower in early spring at roadsides, in disturbed areas and thin woods.

Leather Flower is a perennial plant that produces new climbing stems annually. Its leaves are compound with two to five pairs o leaflets, which are variable in shape; consisting of a whole part to being slightly lobed. Flowers are single on a naked stalk, nodding, and of various colors; blue to pink to violet. This plant is extremely difficult to distinguish from the Dwarf Clematis, which is endemic to peninsular Florida; whereas Leather Flower is more widely distributed; has very fragrant flowers and has a range that extends from West Virginia to Florida and west to Texas.

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 False Rue-Anemone
(Isopyrum biternatum)
When the word "false" is applied it means that the plant has most of the characteristics of the "real thing," but just slightly misses the mark. This is a smaller carbon copy of the larger plant. As can be seen it is barely as tall as the grass in which it stands. This is a perennial that grows from thick, fibrous roots; found mostly in the southern part of an area that includes the Escambia region. It begins a semi-circle from South Carolina across northern Florida and westward to Louisiana; thence north to Missouri and South Dakota where it is considered extremely rare. Expect it to flower in early spring; April to May.
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Anemone has a tuberous underground stem that produces a pair of leaves that may be two or three times deeply cut. When the leaf has developed it's followed by a slender stem that bears a white or pale blue flower. The kicker is that it's not a flower with petals, but a flower of sepals (modified leaves that look like petals), numbering 10 to 20; which distin-
guishes it from other plants in that it has the greatest number of sepals than any other plant. The plant forms sizable colonies of a single color. Preferred habitat is prairies and open sites on limestone soils. Flowering occurs from April to May.

 Carolina Anemone
(A. berlandieri)
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 Meeting House Columbine
(Aquilegia canadensis)

Meeting House Columbine, an introduction from Europe, is also known as Wild Columbine. The plant has a nodding, red and yellow flower with upward spurred petals with colored sepals and yellow stamens hanging below the petals. Columbine enjoys a place in rocky, wooded or open places generally having an abundance of rich humus and leaf littler. Blue Columbine is the state flower of Colorado.

This woodland wildflower has drooping, bell-like flowers equipped with distinctly backward pointing tubes (that's the meeting house part as numerous insects gather there to sample the sweet nectar). Generally; however, the plant attracts long-tongued moths that have adapted to reach the nectar pockets.

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Generally, all columbines have similar makeup. Each of the five petals stretch backward into a distinctive spur, which is difficult for all insects to reach the nectar that hides therein. Some; however, do render themselves accessible to honey bees. Still others, all of the New World, are pollinated by hummingbirds. The scientific names "columbine" means dove, and and Aquilegia is from the Latin for eagle.

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