Today’s photographs wouldn’t have been possible without the help of several people from Oregon, especially Aaron Liston and Linda Hardison of Oregon State University and Ed Alverson of The Nature Conservancy. Enemion is a genus I am interested in for a possible research project, so it was helpful to see some of the plants growing in their “natural” environment.
Enemion stipitatum (PDF), or Siskiyou rue-anemone / dwarf false rue anemone / western isopyrum, is considered a sensitive species by the Oregon Flora Project. This necessitated extra care when photographing these extremely small plants to minimize disturbance. Fortunately for photographing, almost all of the plants I observed in this area (the northernmost known population of the species, I think) grew within the canopy drip-zone of a single large Acer macrophyllum, so I could photograph the plants on the edge of the zone without inadvertently damaging other plants by resting on the ground beyond the drip zone. Unfortunately for the plants, most of them grow within the canopy drip-zone of a large Acer macrophyllum, making me wonder about the long-term survivability of the population once the maple dies.
I wrote “natural” environment earlier. As you can tell from the third photograph, these are growing in what is a mowed lawn, though it isn’t mowed in the early spring when Enemion stipitatum is in flower. This last photograph was also included to give you an idea of scale (the plants are tiny!) — three plants are in flower in this image, with a couple dozen other plants only showing foliage.
Enemion consists of 6 species; the widespread Enemion biternatum in eastern North America, the also-widespread Enemion raddeanum of China, Japan, Korea and far east Russia, and 4 western North American locally endemic species. One of those of particular interest to British Columbian readers is Enemion savilei, a species only found in BC. Enemion stipitatum, the most delicate and tiny of the 6 species, is found only in California and Oregon, typically in shaded or moist forests.