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Thalictrum aquilegiifolium

Phonetic Spelling
tha-LIK-trum ak-wil-egg-ee-FOH-lee-um
Description

Meadow Rue is a herbaceous perennial in the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) family native from Europe to central Asia.  Also known as Columbine Meadow Rue due to its leaves which resemble the genus Aquilegia (columbine) and this plant is often confused with Columbine or the Adiantum genus (Maidenhair Fern).  

Meadow Rue grows in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade but prefers a rich, highly organic soil and dappled sun in the afternoon. It is intolerant of the hot and humid summers of the deep South and would do well in areas of shade in the afternoon during the hot summer months. Can be easily grown from seed. 

Meadow Rue features a basal grouping of lacy, fine-textured, compound, bluish-green leaves arranged opposite. Flowers bloom in dense panicles on upright branches in late spring to early summer. Due to it's upright form, it is popular for large planters and containers, surrounded by smaller border plantings.  Plant stems usually do not require staking or other support.  There are separate male and female plants.  The lilac-purple male flowers (from purple stamens) are much showier than the female ones of white and are held in powder puff like panicles 6 or 8" wide. The cultivar 'Thundercloud' has deep purple flowers.  The effect of mass plantings of the male bloom are very showy.

The flowers give way to ornamental clusters of wing-like seeds, lengthening the season of interest for this plant.  Sow seed in soil in the fall when they are fresh.  Divide the plants as new growth appears in spring. They are deer and rabbit resistant.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Thundercloud'
'Thundercloud'
Tags:
#perennials#cut flowers#blue leaves#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#spring interest#wildflower garden#meadows
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Thundercloud'
'Thundercloud'
Tags:
#perennials#cut flowers#blue leaves#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#spring interest#wildflower garden#meadows
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thalictrum
    Species:
    aquilegiifolium
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Late spring flowers, put in large pots surrounded by smaller border plantings
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Central Asia
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer and Rabbit Resistant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Open
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Description:
    Ornamental clusters of wing-like seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    6-8 in. of pink powder puff-like flowers in panicles. There are separate male and female plants. The male flowers are much more showy than the female variety. Male flowers are purple, which comes from the profusely purple stamen.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Features a basal clump of lacy, fine-textured, compound, bluish-green foliage (resembling columbine or maidenhair fern)
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heat
    Humidity