Anemone thalictroides by Boys, 1824
Anemone thalictroides by T. Boys, from Loddiges' The Botanical Cabinet, 1824
Rue anemone is a North American woodland plant. It is a spring ephemeral, which means it emerges early in the season, blooms, seeds, and then dies, leaving only the underground portion of the plant. The roots are tuberous allowing for regrowth each spring. Each stem has either a single flower or an umbel-like cluster of flowers at its end. The flowers are a white to pink color with multiple yellow stamen in the center. The scientific classification of this plant has changed since Linnaeus named it in 1753.
Under the Linnaean system rue anemone was called Anemone thalictroides and belonged to the order Polygynia in the class Polyandria. As the field of botany grew and more information was gathered it became necessary to reorganize and reclassify some species. In 1839, French botanist Eduard Spach created a new genus Anemonella for the species thalictroides, because he thought that the combination of its size, tuberous roots, and umbelliform inflorescence rendered it distinct from the genus Thalictrum. Botanist Joseph Robert Bernard Boivin disagreed with Spach classification and in 1957 moved the species again. Rue anemone is now classified by many modern treatments as Thalictrum thalictroides, while Anemonella thalictroides is considered a synonym.
This print was published in volume ten of The Botanical Cabinet. George Loddiges began the publication in 1817. Each volume contained engravings of the many exotic plants that Loddiges had the family nursery in Hackney. The serial totaled twenty volumes with two thousand colored engravings. Each of these was accompanied by a brief description of the plant, with tips on how to cultivate it. The Loddiges' Nursery, which had been founded by George's father Joachim Conrad Loddiges in 1771, was one of the most prominent plant nurseries during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Under George's management, it rapidly expanded and came to include a large hothouse and an arboretum.
- Naomi Bean