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Thalictrum pubescens (King of the meadow)
Brundage, Stephanie

Thalictrum pubescens

Thalictrum pubescens Pursh

King Of The Meadow, King-of-the-meadow, Tall Meadow Rue

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Synonym(s): Thalictrum perelegans, Thalictrum polygamum, Thalictrum polygamum var. hebecarpum, Thalictrum polygamum var. intermedium, Thalictrum pubescens var. hebecarpum, Thalictrum pubescens var. hepaticum

USDA Symbol: THPU2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

This is a 3-10 ft. perennial with interesting, glaucous foliage. The pinnate leaves have three or more leaflets with rounded lobes. The cream-colored flowers have numerous, showy, thread-like stamens.

This summer-blooming flower is constantly visited by bees and butterflies. At least 10 other Thalictrum species are found in eastern North America.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Sepals white to purplish, no petals.


USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WV
Canada: NB , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Nf. to e. Ont., s. to Long Island, GA & MS
Native Habitat: Meadows; low thickets; swamps

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Tall meadow rue is a good background plant for the woodland garden. It is grown mostly for its attractive foliage.


Use Wildlife: Butterflies, Bees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Separate offsets while the plant is dormant in spring or fall. Plant seeds as soon as they ripen. Seeds may not germinate until the second year.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Thalictrum pubescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Thalictrum pubescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Thalictrum pubescens


Record Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: TWC Staff, SCB

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