Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Early Meadowrue, Quicksilver Weed, Dioecious Meadowrue
Thalictrum dioicum

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thalictrum (tha-LIK-trum) (Info)
Species: dioicum (dy-oh-EE-kum) (Info)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive geneva_illinois On Apr 25, 2012, geneva_illinois from Geneva, IL wrote:

Plant is growing in my yard 20 feet from a river. Looks like a columbine in early spring then it sends up a strong tall (compared to a columbine) flower stem. Flowers are nothing special but the foliage looks similar to a maidenhair fern. Pretty in a natural garden. I read that the leaves stay through fall, unfortunately mine gets mowed down by then. Appears to reseed itself so it spreads faster than maidenhair ferns. I'm going to move it to a safer spot.

Positive Malus2006 On Mar 7, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Early meadowrue is a plant that is rarely seen in the plant market, even native nurseries. This is a small plant, for me rarely growing above two feet tall. This is one of the few medium size range native Eastern US Thalictrum, the other one more of a prairie speces that I have never tried called Veiny meadowrue. Early Meadowrue prefers woodland, moist soil and loves shade. It thrive in a shade garden and seem to tolerate a wide range of conditons. It is a excellent cover for where most of the emergent early spring native plants is finished, as it last all year round, with its nice delicate columbine - like foliage. I often deadhead it, as it tend to leaves a lot of seedlings. I collected some plants from the wild and I think male and female is separated on different plants as some plants develop seed pods and others doesn't, as a plant that I gave to my grandma never had so far have seedlings. When the plant is fertile, the seedpods are "spiky", not sharp, but more like a multiray star. The flowers are greenish yellow and is not much of a value. The foliage are much more valuable! It may be a good company for Hostas.

Neutral Todd_Boland On Feb 26, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This species is a common wildflower along damp to wet areas of Newfoundland. They grow in bogs, fens, streamsides, pond margins. Foliage is attractive and similar to columbines. The plants are dioecious, the males being the prettier with large fluffy clusters of pale yellow stamens. Could be used as a shallow aqautic; if grown in submerged pots, they would be easily contained.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sebastopol, California
Geneva, Illinois
Warren, Indiana
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Buffalo, New York
Leesburg, Virginia

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