Native Plant of the Week: Early Meadow Rue ~ Thalictrum dioicum

Early Meadow Rue ~ Thalictrum dioicum

This perennial woodland native is one of my favorites to utilize in shaded, dry, upland sites. Flowering right now, the softly lobed leaflets set off the 18-24" tall flower stalks.

The clusters of yellowish dangling stamens of the male flowers are very showy and unique. Male flowers resemble tiny lanterns and as the stamens blow in the wind the pollen is dispersed.

Female flowers (housed on separate plants than the male flowers) are not as easy to spot. Sepal like petals are short lived on the female flower and what remains are thin pinkish-white pistils.

Early Meadow Rue is a great woodland native for any well-drained shaded woodland garden. Its flower stalks are stiff and persist into the summer months as the seeds form.

The foliage is equally attractive and contrasts nicely with many woodland natives such as ferns, solomon's seal, or wild ginger.

It's also a larval host plant for the White Striped Black Moth.

You can find Early Meadow Rue for sale at many native plant nurseries. If you have the right spot for this native I think you'll really enjoy it.

Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.
Early Meadow Rue is native to eastern North America, see map for range.