early meadow-rue

(Thalictrum dioicum)

Conservation Status
early meadow-rue
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Early meadow-rue is a 12 to 28 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from fibrous roots and a stout caudex. Staminate flowers (male) and pistillate flowers (female) are borne on separate plants. This plant blooms in the early spring before deciduous trees leaf out.

Stems are erect, hairless, green, and often branched in the upper half.

All leaves are on leaf stalks. Stem leaves are alternate. They are 3 or 4 times ternate—divided into 3 main divisions (ternate), each division further divided into 3 segments (biternate), each segment further divided into 3 leaflets (triternate), or once more divided. The leaflets are to 1¾ wide and wider than long. They are kidney-shaped, heart-shaped, round, or inversely egg-shaped with the attachment at the narrow end. The leaflets have 3 to 12 often round-toothed lobes. The upper surface is hairless and usually green, sometimes bluish due to a whitish, waxy coating (glaucous). The lower surface is hairless but may have short, rounded, nipple-like glandular bumps or projections.

The inflorescence is a small, up to 6 tall, branched cluster at the end of the stems and branches and in the leaf axils.

Male flowers have 5 greenish to purple-brown petal-like sepals. There are no petals. They droop at the end of short stalks. The sepals often drop off early leaving about 12 stamens with yellow to greenish-yellow filaments and anthers. The flowers do not produce petals or nectar to attract insects. They are wind pollinated.

The fruit is an achene over long.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 28

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Greenish to purple-brown

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Tall meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum) is a much taller plant, 3 to 5 at maturity. Middle and upper leaves are stalkless. The leaflets are as long as wide, or, more commonly, longer than wide. The larger leaflets are divided into 2 to 5 but usually 3 lobes. The lobes are untoothed or occasionally have a few additional teeth. The flowers bloom later, June to July.

Waxy leaf meadow-rue (Thalictrum revolutum) is a much taller plant, 3 to 7 at maturity. The stems are glaucous. Middle and upper leaves are stalkless. The leaflets are as long as wide, or, more commonly, longer than wide. Leaf margins are rolled backward to the underside. The larger leaflets are divided into 2 to 5 but usually 3 lobes. The lower leaflet surface is covered with glandular hairs giving it a whitish, waxy appearance, and has a conspicuous network of raised veins.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moderate moisture. Woods. Partial sun to shade.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

April to May

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
  6/13/2017      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  
 

Order

Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  
 

Family

Ranunculaceae (buttercup, crowfoot)  
  Subfamily Thalictroideae (columbines and meadow-rues)  
 

Genus

Thalictrum (meadow-rue)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
     
       
 

Common Names

 
 

dioecious meadowrue

early meadow-rue

early meadowrue

quicksilver-weed

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Caudex

A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.

 

Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

Glaucous

Covered with a whitish, waxy coating, as on a plum or a grape.

 

Ternate

Refers to leaves that are divided into three leaflets or sections.

       
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Inflorescence

  early meadow-rue    
       

Flower

  early meadow-rue    
       

Leaves

  early meadow-rue   early meadow-rue
       
  early meadow-rue   early meadow-rue
       
  early meadow-rue    
       

Early Spring Leaves

  early meadow-rue   early meadow-rue
       
       
       

 

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Other Videos
 
  Native Woodland Species
PrairieMoonNursery
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 9, 2009

http://www.PrairieMoon.com - Watch Steve discuss native woodland species blooming mid May, including Columbine, Wild Blue Phlox, Virginia Bluebells, and Early Meadow Rue.

   
       

 

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