Species At Risk

False Rue-anemone

(Enemion biternatum)


False Rue-anemone
False Rue-anemone occurrences map


False Rue-anemone is a member of the buttercup family. It grows to a height of 10 to 40 centimetres. Most leaves are divided into three groups of three leaflets, each leaflet being irregularly two to three lobed. The flowers, which bloom in early spring, occur singly or in groups of two to four. They are small and delicate with five showy white petal-like sepals (modified leaves or bracts that look like petals). The fruit is produced in early June and contains many smooth seeds.


In Canada, based on information available in 2003, False Rue-anemone is believed to occupy only six places in southwestern Ontario, all in the Carolinian region. Some sites support tens of thousands of plants but they are often densely clustered into a small area.


False Rue-anemone grows in deciduous forests and thickets with rich, moist soil, often in valleys, floodplains and ravine bottoms. This species is frequently found close to watercourses within mature forests with lots of maple and beech trees. It prefers partial sun or somewhat shady conditions.


The main threat to False Rue-anemone is habitat destruction due to recreational activities such as cycling, ATV-use and hiking, that can result in inadvertent trampling of this plant. Forest clearing, soil erosion, and agricultural run-off are also concerns. Road salt is known to have harmed at least one population in Ontario. Invasive plants that compete with False Rue-anemone for water, light, and space, such as Goutweed and Garlic Mustard, also threaten this species.


The False Rue-anemone is protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and the federal Species at Risk Act.

What You Can Do to Help False Rue-anemone

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as False Rue-anemone. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species at risk recovery. If you find False Rue-anemone on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Consult the Ministry of Natural Resources when working around forests and wetlands for information on provincial regulations and best management practices to protect these important habitats. Call toll free at 1-800-667-1940 or visit the Ministry website at http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/ContactUs/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_179002.html.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Invasive species seriously threaten many of Ontario’s species at risk. To learn what you can do to help reduce the threat of invasive species, visit: ontario.ca/invasivespecies ; www.invadingspecies.com ; www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca ; and, www.invasivespecies.gc.ca .
  • The Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program is available to farmers registered under the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan to encourage greater protection and conservation of habitat for species at risk. Find more information at www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/environment/efp/efp.htm.

Did you know?

The scientific name for False Rue-anemone, Enemion biternatum, is thought to refer to the Greek word “anemos” which means “wind” and the Latin word “biternatum” which means “twice in sets of three” (referring to the leaves and their division into leaflets).

Did you know?

Unlike other flowering plants, False Rue-anemone does not produce nectar to attract insects to pollinate its flowers. However, because it is one of the first plants to produce flowers in the spring, it is able to attract insects that don’t yet have tastier options.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.