Thalictrum delavayi
Common Name: meadow rue 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Native Range: China, Myanmar, Tibet
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Lilac
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers a rich, humusy soil and light, dappled sun. Intolerant of hot and humid conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Thalictrum delavayi is a dense, clump-forming meadow rue that grows 3-5' tall. It features lacy, fine-textured, medium green, compound foliage (superficially resembling columbine or maidenhair fern) and tiny, lavender flowers with contrasting yellow stamens borne in large, wiry-branched, airy, terminal sprays rising above the foliage. Flowers appear in spring (May in St. Louis). Mass effect of bloom can be quite showy. Plant stems are purplish.

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


No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew and rust are only occasional problems. Thin plant stems usually require staking or other support. Stems of plants grown close together can become entangled.


This tall, airy plant provides color and contrast to the perennial border, wildflower garden, meadow or naturalized area. Good background plant.