Thalictrum dasycarpum (Tall Meadow Rue)
|Also known as:||Purple Meadow Rue|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist soil; edges of woods, thickets, meadows, fens, along shores, wet ditches|
|Bloom season:||June - July|
|Plant height:||2 to 8 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Male and female flowers are usually on separate plants. 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. For both sexes, flowers are in large open to dense branching clusters (panicles) in the upper plant.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are 3 to 5 times compound in groups of 3 or 5. Leaflets are about 1 inch long, asymmetrical at the rounded base, the lateral leaflets stalkless or very short-stalked with the terminal leaflet longer stalked. Most leaflets are shallowly lobed in 2 or 3 parts, with a point at the tip of each lobe. Leaf color is blue-green and leaves are hairy on the underside. Basal and lower stem leaves are similar and long stalked, uppermost stem leaves are stalkless or nearly so. The stem is purple to varying degrees and mostly hairless.
This is the largest and most common of the Meadow Rue species in Minnesota, found across the state in moist woods, wet meadows, ditches, and floodplains. It is larger and blooms later than the related Early Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dioicum), which is primarily a woodland species. Also similar is Veiny Meadow Rue (Thalictrum venulosum), which is a smaller plant that has leaves compound 3 or 4 times and leaflets with 3 to 5 lobes. Most similar is Purple Meadow Rue (Thalictrum revolutum), an uncommon species in Minnesota, which is primarily distinguished by having more densely glandular-hairy leaf stalks and flowering branches, and more prominent veins on the leaves, and is foul-smelling.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Tall Meadow Rue in a wet meadow
- Tall Meadow Rue at a woodland edge
- tall Tall Meadow Rue
- more plants
- seed starting to form
- open panicle
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Chisago and Ramsey counties. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?