Thalictrum dioicum L. - Early Meadow Rue


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Thalictrum dioicum - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Ranunculaceae


Mesic, shaded woods.




Quebec west to Manitoba, south to SC, GA, AL, and MO.


Herbaceous perennial 30-70 cm tall from a subterranean, fibrous-rooted crown. Leaves thin, glabrous, usually with 3 lobes each with 1-3 teeth, the petioles elongate; the cauline leaf subtending the lowest flowering branch 3-6 cm; stipules of upper leaves broad, mostly much wider than long. Plant dioecous, the flowers all or mostly unisexual; filaments and anthers yellowish or greenish-yellow. Achenes 4 mm, sessile or subsessile, strongly ribbed, straight and mostly symmetrical. 


Flowers April to May, usually when deciduous tree begin to leaf out

Wetland indicator: Facultative Upland +

The first image is of a staminate (male) plant. The 3rd image is a close up of staminate flowers, while the 4th shows pistillate (female) flowers. The last two images are of the fruit. To the untrained eye this species might be mistaken for Blue Cohosh.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2009