Thalictrum Species, Early Meadow-Rue, Early, Dioecious Meadow Rue, Quicksilver Weed

Thalictrum dioicum

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



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Sebastopol, California

Geneva, Illinois

Warren, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Royal Oak, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Brooklyn, New York

Buffalo, New York

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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... read more


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.