Thalictrum squarrosum
Common Name: meadow rue 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow-green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Grow in moist, moderately fertile, organically rich, well-drained soil in part shade. Tolerates full sun as long as soils are kept consistently moist. Less vigorous growth typically occurs in full shade. Plant foliage usually turns yellow if soils are allowed to dry in summer. May be grown from seed and will self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Thalictrum squarrosum, commonly known as meadow rue, is a rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial of the buttercup family that typically grows on dichotomously branched stems to 3-5’ tall. It is native to slopes, plains and field margins in China, Mongolia and Russia (Siberia).

Tiny, starry, apetalous, bisexual flowers (each to 1/3” across) with yellow-tinged-green sepals bloom July and August in fluffy, many-flowered inflorescences (panicles). Flower color comes from the color of the sepals and stamens. Two- or three-pinnate green leaves with oblong to obovate three lobed leaflets (to 1” long).

Genus name comes from the Greek word thaliktron which was a name used by Dioscorides to describe a plant in this genus.

Specific epithet means having spreading parts.

Plants in the genus Thalictrum are commonly called meadow rue in reference to the similarity of their leaves to the leaves of common rue (Ruta graveolens).


No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew, smut and rust may appear.


Borders, meadows, cottage gardens, open woodland areas.