Columbine meadow rue Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
French meadow rue 'Album'


Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album', commonly known as meadow rue, is an ornamental perennial plant known for its delicate and graceful appearance. This variety, 'Album', is prized for its striking foliage and distinctive floral displays. The leaves of meadow rue are reminiscent of the columbine, with a similar lacy and finely divided texture. They form an attractive mound of blue-green to gray-green color, providing an excellent backdrop for the flowers. The blooms of the 'Album' variety are particularly notable for their color. Unlike other meadow rue variants that might display purples or pinks, 'Album' boasts sprays of elegant, fluffy, creamy-white flowers. These flowers are composed of numerous stamens which create a soft, cloud-like effect, giving the plant an ethereal quality when in full bloom. These flowers are held aloft on branching stems that extend above the foliage, gracefully swaying in the breeze and offering a light, airy presence in the garden setting. The overall impression of Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album' is one of a fine-textured, almost fairy-tale like aspect with its soft, feathery foliage and the frothy, white blossoms that seem to float above the leaves. This delicate foliage and flower combination makes the plant a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of whimsy and elegance to their borders or naturalized areas.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Meadow Rue, French Meadow Rue, Columbine Meadow Rue, White Columbine Meadow Rue

    • Common names

      Thalictrum aquilegifolium 'Album', Thalictrum aquilegiifolium var. album.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Meadow rue (Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album') is not commonly known to be toxic to humans. However, like many plants, it is not intended for consumption, and it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid ingesting plants that are not explicitly meant to be eaten. If someone were to consume meadow rue, they might experience gastrointestinal discomfort or an allergic reaction, although specific symptoms of poisoning from this plant are not well-documented. To ensure safety, keep the plant out of reach of children who might accidentally ingest it.

    • To pets

      Meadow rue (Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album') is not commonly recognized as a toxic plant for pets. Nevertheless, pets should not consume ornamental plants as a general precaution. While specific symptoms of meadow rue ingestion in pets are not well-documented, ingestion could potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset or an allergic reaction. Monitor pets to prevent them from chewing on or ingesting this plant, and consult a veterinarian if you suspect your pet has eaten any part of it.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (60-90 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: The Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album', commonly known as Meadow Rue, has delicate, lacy foliage and white, fluffy flowers that add a soft, elegant touch to gardens.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Its flowers are known to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Shade Tolerance: Meadow Rue is well-suited to shaded or partially shaded areas where other plants might not thrive, making it versatile in garden design.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal upkeep once established, making it a good choice for gardeners seeking low-maintenance plants.
    • Tolerant of Various Soil Types: This plant is adaptable to a range of soil conditions, although it prefers moist, well-drained soils.
    • Deer Resistant: Meadow Rue is generally resistant to browsing by deer, which can be especially beneficial in areas where deer predation is a problem.
    • Seasonal Interest: With its attractive foliage and distinctive bloom in late spring to early summer, Meadow Rue provides seasonal interest and contrast in perennial borders.
    • Non-Invasive: Unlike some ornamental plants, Meadow Rue is not known to be invasive and typically will not spread uncontrollably in the garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Culinary garnish: The delicate white flowers of Meadow Rue can be used to garnish salads and desserts, adding an elegant touch to the presentation.
    • Photography subject: Due to Meadow Rue's unique and intricate flowers, it is often used as a subject for botanical photography and art.
    • Dye production: Historically, some species of Thalictrum have been used for producing dyes, although not commonly practiced, Meadow Rue could potentially be explored for this purpose.
    • Natural confetti: The flowers can be dried and used as a natural, biodegradable confetti for celebrations like weddings or garden parties.
    • Fairy gardens: The ethereal appearance of Meadow Rue makes it a perfect addition to whimsical fairy garden designs.
    • Educational purposes: Meadow Rue is utilized in botanical education to demonstrate plant morphology, particularly its unique flower structure.
    • Insect habitat: The plant can provide a habitat for beneficial insects when used in companion planting within a vegetable garden or orchard.
    • Flower pressing: The blooms of Meadow Rue are suitable for flower pressing, preserving their beauty in a flattened, dried form for crafts or decoration.
    • Scented sachets: While not overwhelmingly fragrant, the subtle scent of Meadow Rue flowers can contribute to a mixed herbal sachet.
    • Creative crafts: Dried Meadow Rue stalks and seed heads offer an interesting texture and shape for use in dried floral arrangements and other decorative crafts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Meadow Rue is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Meadow Rue is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Delicacy: The fine, lacy foliage of Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album', also known as Meadow Rue, often represents delicate beauty and grace, reflecting its airy presence in gardens.
    • Protection: In some traditions, it is believed that Meadow Rue has protective qualities, perhaps because it resembles the feathered patterns of the Aquilegia or Columbine, which is associated with protection.
    • Disguise: Because Meadow Rue can easily blend into its natural surroundings, it sometimes symbolizes the idea of disguise or maintaining a low profile.
    • Attractiveness: The subtle and sophisticated white blooms of Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album' signify an understated attractiveness, not demanding attention but captivating upon closer inspection.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Meadow Rue 'Album' prefers consistently moist soil, so it should be watered thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Depending on weather conditions, this may mean watering once or twice a week. Provide up to 1 gallon of water per plant each time you water, ensuring you moisten the soil deeply to encourage root growth. During the hot summer months, monitor the soil moisture more frequently, as the plant may require more water. In contrast, reduce watering in the cooler months to prevent waterlogging.

  • sunLight

    The Meadow Rue 'Album' thrives best in partial shade to full shade conditions. It should be placed in a spot where it can receive dappled sunlight or light shade throughout the day. Avoid direct, intense sunlight, as this can cause stress to the plant. The ideal location would be under the canopy of tall trees or on the north side of a building where it will be shielded from harsh afternoon sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Meadow Rue 'Album' can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and is hardy from USDA zones 4 through 8. It can survive winter temperatures as low as -30°F and is comfortable during the summer if temperatures do not exceed 85°F. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 50°F and 75°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    The Meadow Rue 'Album' should be pruned to remove dead or damaged stems and encourage a bushier growth habit. Pruning is best done after the plant has finished flowering, usually in late summer or early fall. Annually cut back the spent flower stems, and every few years, you may also thin out the plant to encourage airflow and reduce the risk of disease.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Meadow Rue prefers a soil mix that is rich, moist, and well-draining. The best composition would be a mix of loam, peat, and sand to ensure adequate drainage and fertility. The ideal pH for Meadow Rue should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 5.5 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Meadow Rue typically does not need frequent repotting as it is a perennial. It is best to repot or divide the plant every 3-4 years to rejuvenate the soil and manage the size of the plant if it becomes too large or overcrowded.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Meadow Rue thrives best in moderate humidity conditions. It does not require high humidity and can tolerate the natural humidity levels found in most outdoor garden environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright indirect light and keep soil consistently moist.

    • Outdoor

      Choose a partly shaded spot with moist, rich soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Meadow Rue 'Album' starts its life as a seed which germinates when the temperature and moisture levels are suitable, usually in late winter or spring. The seedling emerges and develops into a rosette of leaves, utilizing nutrients stored in the seed to grow until it can photosynthesize. As it matures, the plant puts up flowering stems in late spring or early summer, displaying clusters of creamy white, fluffy flowers that are attractive to pollinators. After pollination, seeds develop and are eventually released to the environment to repeat the life cycle. During winter, Meadow Rue 'Album' dies back to the ground, as it is a herbaceous perennial, but its root system remains alive underground. In the following spring, new growth resumes from the existing roots, starting the cycle anew.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The meadow rue, specifically Thalictrum aquilegiifolium 'Album', is most commonly propagated through division, preferably conducted in the spring as new growth commences. To propagate by division, carefully lift the parent plant from the soil using a shovel, ensuring to maintain as much of the root system as possible. Gently tease apart clumps of the plant, ensuring that each section has a portion of the root system attached. Replant the divisions immediately at the same depth they were growing previously, spacing them about 18 to 24 inches (approximately 45 to 60 centimeters) apart to allow for mature growth. Water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them. This method is effective for meadow rue because it helps rejuvenate older clumps that may have become woefully crowded and also allows gardeners to proliferate their stock of this ethereal, cloud-like flowering plant.