Meadow Rue Thalictrum reniforme

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
kidney-shaped meadow rue


Thalictrum reniforme, commonly known as the round-leaved meadow rue, is a plant that features distinctive foliage and flower structures. Its leaves are especially notable for their round or kidney-shaped form, giving rise to its common name. These leaves are typically arranged in a soft and airy compound fashion, exhibiting a delicate texture that can appear somewhat fern-like. The plant showcases small, fluffy-looking flowers that lack true petals. Instead, what catch the eye are the long, hair-like stamens, which can appear feathery and are usually in soft pastel colors such as purples, lavenders, or whites. These flowers are clustered together in inflorescences that create a subtle, cloud-like effect above the body of the plant. While the stems of the round-leaved meadow rue tend to be upright and slender, they contribute further to the overall ethereal and lightweight aesthetic of the plant. The flowering season brings a dynamic visual texture to gardens and natural settings, as these blooms add a gentle, whimsical touch to the landscape. In summary, round-leaved meadow rue is a plant characterized by its soft, rounded foliage and delicate, fluffy flowers, which together create a light and airy appearance that can be quite enchanting to observe.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Reniform Meadow-rue

    • Common names

      Thalictrum reniforme.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as Thalictrum reniforme, more commonly referred to as meadow rue, is not typically considered highly toxic to humans. However, there is not a significant body of research on its toxicity, and plants within the Thalictrum genus may contain compounds that can irritate the skin, mucous membranes, or the digestive tract if ingested. Although serious poisoning is rare, if any part of the meadow rue plant is ingested, it might result in gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. It is always wise to exercise caution and avoid consuming plants that are not explicitly identified as edible.

    • To pets

      Meadow rue, or Thalictrum reniforme, is also not widely recognized as a significantly poisonous plant to pets. Despite that, a general lack of detailed toxicological data means the potential effects on pets are not fully known. In general, ingestion of non-food plants by pets can cause gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. If a pet consumes any part of the meadow rue plant, monitoring for these symptoms is advisable, and a veterinarian should be consulted if any negative reactions occur.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet 3 inches (1 m)

    • Spread

      1 feet 6 inches (0.5 m)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Thalictrum reniforme, commonly known as Meadow Rue, adds visual interest to gardens with its delicate, lacy foliage and unique floral displays.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Meadow Rue provides nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, contributing to the biodiversity of the area.
    • Shade Tolerance: This plant can thrive in partially shaded environments where other plants might struggle, making it a versatile addition to woodland gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: It is generally disease-resistant and does not require frequent care beyond the initial establishment, making it suitable for low-maintenance landscapes.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, Meadow Rue can tolerate periods of drought, reducing the need for constant watering in drier climates or during hot summers.
    • Soil Adaptability: It can adapt to a wide range of soil types, although it prefers moist, well-drained soils, allowing it to be planted in various garden settings.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antifungal: Thalictrum reniforme has been indicated to possess antifungal properties against certain strains of fungi.
    • Antimicrobial: Some studies suggest that the plant may have antimicrobial effects against various microorganisms.
    • Anti-inflammatory: There is evidence that this plant has anti-inflammatory effects, which could be useful in reducing inflammation.
    • Antioxidant: Thalictrum reniforme may exhibit antioxidant activity, which can help in protecting the body from oxidative stress.
    • Diuretic: Traditionally, the plant has been used to promote diuresis, the increased production of urine.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Artistic Inspiration: The delicate leaves and flowers of meadow-rue can inspire artists and can be used as a subject in botanical illustration and nature photography.
    • Garden Aesthetics: Gardeners may use meadow-rue for its aesthetic appeal in a shade garden, woodland setting, or cottage garden, where its tall, feathery foliage adds texture.
    • Water Garden Plant: Due to its tolerance of moist soils, Thalictrum reniforme can be incorporated into water garden designs or planted along the banks of a pond or stream.
    • Dried Flower Arrangements: The flowers and seed heads of meadow-rue can be dried and included in floral arrangements for an interesting textural component.
    • Educational Tool: This plant can be included in educational programs for children and adults to teach about native plants and their role in local ecosystems.
    • Bee and Butterfly Habitat: Meadow-rue can be used to create habitats for pollinators, as it provides nectar for butterflies and bees.
    • Fairy Gardens: The delicate appearance of meadow-rue is sometimes used to evoke an enchanting effect in fairy gardens or miniature landscapes.
    • Natural Dye: Historically, parts of the meadow-rue plant may have been used to produce natural dyes for fabric or crafts.
    • Landscape Contrast: The plant's airy, light-green foliage contrasts nicely with darker or more colorful plants, adding depth to a garden landscape.
    • Ritual Practices: In some cultures, meadow-rue may be used in ritual practices or as a symbolic plant connected to certain folklore or traditions.

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

    • Elegance: Thalictrum reniforme, commonly known as meadow rue, often symbolizes elegance due to its delicate foliage and graceful flowers.
    • Delicacy: The fine, lace-like leaves and dainty flowers can represent fragility and the finer things in life, reminding us to appreciate delicate beauty.
    • Mystery: Meadow rue may also be associated with a sense of mystery because of its subtle, almost hidden, flowers amidst the dense foliage.
    • Good Luck: In some traditions, meadow rue is thought to bring good luck, possibly because of its rarity and the joyful sight of its blossoms.
    • Overcoming Challenges: As a plant that thrives in various conditions, it can symbolize the ability to overcome challenges and adapt to different situations.

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

    Meadow rue should be watered thoroughly, ensuring the soil is kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, water approximately once a week or more during dry spells, providing about 1 to 1.5 gallons for an average-sized plant. In the winter, reduce watering to match lower temperatures and decreased sunlight, but never let the soil completely dry out. Always check the top inch of soil for dryness before watering and adjust the schedule as necessary for seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Avoid overhead watering to minimize the risk of leaf diseases.

  • sunLight

    Meadow rue thrives in partial shade to full shade conditions. It prefers a spot that is shielded from the harsh afternoon sun, receiving gentle morning light or filtered sunlight through canopy leaves. The ideal location is under the dappled shade of trees or on the north side of a building where it can be protected from direct sun exposure.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Meadow rue does well in a moderate temperature range and can handle minimum temperatures down to about 5°F for brief periods. The ideal growing temperature for this plant is between 60°F to 75°F. To ensure robust growth, avoid placing it in locations where temperatures exceed 85°F for prolonged periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    Meadow rue requires minimal pruning, mainly to remove spent flower stalks and maintain a tidy appearance. Pruning can also encourage new growth. The best time for pruning is late winter or early spring before the onset of new growth. Cut back any old foliage to allow room for fresh growth and improve air circulation.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Meadow rue, commonly called Thalictrum reniforme, thrives in a soil mix that is rich in organic matter, well-draining, and has a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. A mixture of loamy soil, peat, and perlite or sand in equal parts can create an ideal environment for this plant, ensuring good drainage and adequate nutrients.

  • plantRepotting

    Meadow rue doesn't require frequent repotting and can generally be repotted every 2-3 years. It's best to repot in the spring as the plant emerges from dormancy, ensuring minimal disturbance to its growth cycle.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Meadow rue prefers moderate humidity levels, typically around 40-60%. While it can tolerate a range of humidity conditions, consistent levels within this range are ideal for healthy growth and foliage.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright, indirect light and ensure soil moisture for indoor meadow rue.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, ensure moist soil and protect from intense sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Thalictrum reniforme, commonly known as Meadow Rue, begins its life cycle with seed germination in late winter to early spring, as soon as soil temperatures allow. The seedlings develop into a rosette of leaves at the ground level, where they undergo vegetative growth before initiating their first flowering shoots in late spring or early summer. During the flowering stage, the plant produces delicate, airy flowers that are typically unisexual and wind-pollinated, leading to cross-fertilization. After successful pollination, seeds develop in small, dry fruits called achenes that mature by late summer or early autumn. These seeds are dispersed by wind, facilitating propagation and range expansion of the species. Finally, in the winter or during unfavorable conditions, the plant may die back to the ground, relying on its perennial root system to survive until conditions are right for the next season's growth.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Thalictrum reniforme, commonly known as Meadow Rue, is by seed. The best time to sow the seeds is either in the fall or early spring. To propagate Meadow Rue by seed, one should first collect the seeds from the pods when they are ripe, which usually occurs in late summer. Sow the seeds directly onto the surface of a well-draining soil mix as they need light to germinate. It's important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Germination can be slow and erratic; however, once the seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots and grown on in cooler conditions before planting out into their final position once all risk of frost has passed.