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Thalictrum dasycarpum

Previously known as:

  • Thalictrum dasycarpum var. hypoglaucum
  • Thalictrum hypoglaucum
Phonetic Spelling
tha-LIK-trum day-see-KAR-pum
Description

Purple Meadow-rue is an upright herbaceous perennial, 2 – 6 ft. high in the Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) family native from Alberta and Ontario, Canada south to Arizona and Ohio.  Purple 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 typically found in swamps and wet thickets, stream banks, ditches, meadows, and prairies.  Environmental conditions will dictate the plant size.  Plants situated in full sun will require more moisture than if grown in part shade. It is intolerant of hot and humid conditions and would do well in areas of shade in the afternoon during the hot summer months. Can be easily grown from seed. 

Purple Meadow-rue features a basal grouping of lacy, fine-textured, compound, bluish-green leaves arranged opposite divided into numerous, three-lobed leaflets. Male and female flowers are usually on separate plants. For both sexes, flowers are in large open to dense branching clusters (panicles). The branches of the panicle are usually purple and glabrous. Flowers of both sexes are petal-less and about 1/3 inch across, with 4 to 6 greenish-white sepals that may drop off early. The female flowers have about 10 thread-like white pistils that resemble petals.  Male flowers have about 12 dangling white to greenish stamens with pale yellow tips that turn brown with age becoming drooping and tangled. The effect of mass plantings of the male bloom are very showy.

Cut back in the fall.  Divide carefully in spring every 3-4 years while dormant. Divisions may be slow to establish.

It makes a great background plant for beds or borders.  Usually grown in the back of the border.

Quick ID:

  • Basal grouping of lacy, fine-textured, bluish-green leaves divided into numerous, three-lobed leaflets
  • Purple stems that are smooth

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  There are no serious insects or disease issues.  Occasionally, powdery mildew and rust may affect the plants' health.  Support may be necessary for taller plants.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#water garden#herb garden#herbaceous#deer resistant#blue-green leaves#herbaceous perennials#purple stems#fern-like#wildflower garden#butterfly friendly#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#water garden#herb garden#herbaceous#deer resistant#blue-green leaves#herbaceous perennials#purple stems#fern-like#wildflower garden#butterfly friendly#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thalictrum
    Species:
    dasycarpum
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Makes a great background plant for beds, grown for its bluish-green leaves
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Alberta, Ontario south to Arizona and Ohio
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, AZ, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, ND, NE, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY
    Wildlife Value:
    Honeybees and other bees are attracted to the pollen of the male flower, but do not serve as pollinators.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer Resistant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • 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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    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:
    Male and female flowers are usually on separate plants. For both sexes, flowers are in large open to dense branching clusters (panicles). The branches of the panicle are usually purple and glabrous. Flowers of both sexes are petal-less and about 1/3 inch across, with 4 to 6 greenish-white sepals that may drop off early. The female flowers have about 10 thread-like white pistils that resemble petals. Male flowers have about 12 dangling white to greenish stamens with pale yellow tips that turn brown with age.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves have a fine downy underside. They are often divided into numerous, 2-3 lobed leaflets. The individual leaflets can be 3/4-2" in length and 1/2-1 1/2" wide. They become smaller in size as they ascend the stem. The margins of the leaves are smooth and may roll downward. The leaflets upper surface can be light green and smooth or light grayish-green and somewhat hairy.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The purple stems branch in the upper portion. They are typically smooth but can be sparsely hairy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Humidity