What is Rue Anemone?

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  • Written By: Vasanth S.
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Rue anemone is a flowering plant that is part of the Ranunculaceae plant family. It features five to ten white petals and three lobed leaves. Landscapers commonly use this plant in flower beds or borders. It is also suitable as a shade plant in temperate climates. This plant can become infected by the fungal disease powdery mildew and is a source of food for slugs.

Scientifically, rue anemone is known as Anemonella thalictroides or Thalictrum thalictroides, depending on which genus of plants botanists place it in. The plant is commonly called star flower or wind flower, both of which describe the white flower of this plant. It is also called wild potato, since the roots of the rue anemone are edible.

This plant shares similar characteristics with the rue plant and the wood anemone. The foliage of the rue anemone resemble the leaves of the rue plant. The flowers of the rue anemone and wood anemone are similar, but the rue anemone features a cluster of flowers, while the wood anemone has a single flower on each stem.

Typically, the rue anemone grows 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) in height and spreads 6-12 inches (15-30 cm). The plant grows from tuberous roots, which are enlarged structures that store nutrients for use during the winter. Reddish stems emerge from the roots and feature purple leaves that quickly become purplish-green, and eventually lime-green.


Its flowers generally bloom from April to June. They are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and are typically white, but some are a light shade of pink. After flowering, the stems die back and the plant becomes dormant until the following year.

For optimum growth, it is recommended to plant the star flower in soil that is well-draining and slightly acidic. The soil should contain lots of organic material to promote growth. The area in which the star flower is planted should be partially shaded from the sun. Full shade is also fine for this type of plant.

A common problem that affects the star flower is powdery mildew. This is a fungal disease that is characterized by a white dusting that covers the leaves and shoots. It causes the yellowing and distortion of leaves and hinders new growth.

Slug infestation is another problem with growing the star flower. The slugs feed on the leaves of the plant and leave a slime trail. It is recommended to set up traps around the star flower to prevent slug damage.


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