Montana Outdoors

July 8, 2009

Things are not always what they appear to be

On the Bunchberry, the four large white bracts are easily mistaken for petals. However as a close look shows, they have no floral parts of their own, but surround a cluster of tiny true flowers.

Bunchberry

Bunchberry

Bunchberry,
Cornus canadensis

False bugbane or Tassel Rue, a highly poisonous member of the Buttercup family has unusual flowers because they have tiny sepals and no petals; their showiness is a result of tufts of white stamens.

False bugbane

Tassel Rue,
Carolina bugbane,
Wild bugbane,
False bugbane,
Trautvetteria caroliniensis

(Both of these flowers were photographed in the upper end of Buffalo Bill Creek)

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