(thal-ik' trum)

Common name: Meadow Rue

Family: Ranunculaceae, Buttercup

Height x width: 3-8' x 2-3' (depending on species)

Growth rate, habit: moderate; tall upright, open

Foliage: alternate, bipinnate or ternately compound, leaflets with 3 broad teeth at apex

Flowers: variable with species

Hardiness: zones 4-6 to 7-8 (depending on species)

Soil: moist, well-drained

Light: part shade, tolerates sun in north if sufficient moisture

Pests and Problems: powdery mildew, rust, smut (none serious)

Landscape habit, uses: fine texture in borders, wildflower garden, woodland edges or natural areas

Other interest: genus name from the Greek thaliktron-- a name ascribed by Dioscorides to a plant with compound leaves

Other culture: tall species may need staking if not planted among and supported by other plants

Propagation: spring division, seeds


aquilegifolium (a-kwa-lee-gi-fol' ee-um)--Columbine Meadow Rue, 2-3' tall, zones 5-7; dioecious with male flowers the most showy composed of many mauve stamens, late spring to early summer; gray green (glaucous) foliage resembling that of columbine or Aquilegia (hence name); native to eastern Europe

delavayi (de-lah-vaa' yee)-- Yunnan Meadow Rue, 5' tall, zones 4-7; flowers similar to rochebrunianum, native to western China


flavum (flaa' vum)--Yellow Meadow Rue, 3' tall, zones 5-8; yellow many-flowered fragrant panicle in summer; native to Europe and eastern Mediterranean

flavum subsp. glaucum--Dusty Meadow Rue, 4-6' tall, creamy yellow flowers in dense clusters in summer, blue green leaves, tolerates heat, native to Spain and NW Africa

kiusianum (kee-uu-see-aa' num)--Kyoshu Meadow Rue, 4-6" tall, zones 6-8; lavender flowers in summer; green mats of foliage with bronze tinge; good in rock gardens and walls; native to Japan

minus (mii- nuss)-- Low Meadow Rue, 12-24" tall forming a dense clump, zones 3-7; branched panicle above leaves with greenish yellow flowers not particularly showy; green or gray green foliage resembling that of maidenhair fern; native to Europe

rochebrunianum (ro-che-bruu-nee-aa' num)-- Lavender Mist Meadow Rue, 6-8' tall, zones 4-7; lavender violet flowers (no true petals, only petal-like sepals) with many primrose yellow stamens; leaves similar to maidenhair fern; native to Japan

speciosissimum: flavum subsp. glaucum

The above are the more commonly encountered species. The following list summarizes these plus a few more uncommon species. Those marked * are the most commonly found in U.S. commerce.
Species zones height flowers foliage native
*aquilegifolium 4-7 2-3' lavender, dioecious blue green Eurasia
dasycarpum 4-7 3-5' lavender,dioecious green N. America
*delavayi 4-7 2-4' lavender green W. China
fendleri 5-8 4-6' greenish white green NW U.S.
*flavum 4-8 3-5' yellow blue green So. Europe
foetidum 6-8 2' yellow-green, arching green, smelly Eurasia
ichangense 4-7 4-6" rosy pink metallic green W. China
kiusianum 4-8 4-6" lavender green Japan
minus 4-7 1-2' greenish white green Eurasia
*rochebrunianum 4-7 4-8' lavender green Japan
speciosissimum:flavum subsp. glaucum          

Cultivars, other taxa species flowers other
*adiantifolium minus yellow distinctive maidenhair-like foliage
var. album aquilegifolium white  
'Album' delavayi white less vigor
'Atropurpureum' aquilegifolium dark purple dark stems and stamens
*'Hewitt's Double' delavayi lavender double, full flowers, long lasting
*'Lavender Mist' rochebrunianum violet gold stamens
'Purple Cloud':'Thundercloud'      
'Purpureum' aquilegifolium purple  
'Thundercloud' aquilegifolium deep purple larger flowers than species


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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