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Thalictrum dioicum L.
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
USDA Symbol: THDI
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Early meadow-rue is a graceful, 8-30 in. perennial with long-stalked leaves divided into many delicate, lobed segments. Petal-less flowers have yellow stamens that hang like small tassels. The female tassel-like blossoms are purple and appear on separate plants.
This flower blooms in the spring, just as the trees are leafing out, which accounts for its common name. The species name alludes to the fact that the male and female flowers are on separate plants, and is derived from the Greek word meaning "two households."
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Greenish to purple.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: GA & AL to AR, n. to N.B., s.w. Que, s. Ont. & MN
Native Habitat: Rich woods; slopes; alluvial terraces
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Rich, mesic soils.
Conditions Comments: Although the delicate, Chinese lantern-like blossoms of early meadow rue are extremely attractive, the plant is grown mostly for its fine-textured foliage.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Plant seeds outside in the fall. Seedlings will germinate in one year; flower in two or three.
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Late May through Jun.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Thalictrum dioicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Thalictrum dioicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Thalictrum dioicum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: TWC Staff