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Common Meadow Rue

Thalictrum flavum

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Common Meadow Rue (Thalictrum flavum) at Oakland Nurseries Inc

Common Meadow Rue flowers

Common Meadow Rue flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Common Meadow Rue (Thalictrum flavum) at Oakland Nurseries Inc

Common Meadow Rue in bloom

Common Meadow Rue in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spacing:  16 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Yellow Meadow Rue


A fine species with wedge shaped dark green leaves that are pale green underneath; stately stems topped with bright butter-yellow flower clusters in early summer; lovely massed along borders; will readily naturalize

Ornamental Features

Common Meadow Rue's attractive ferny leaves are dark green in color with curious light green undersides and tinges of bluish-green on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous olive green in the fall. It features showy clusters of yellow star-shaped flowers with buttery yellow overtones rising above the foliage from early to mid summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. The olive green stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Common Meadow Rue is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Common Meadow Rue is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Common Meadow Rue will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 16 inches apart. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Garden  Naturalizing 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features
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