Thalictrum minus

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


Commonly known as lesser meadow-rue, this plant possesses delicate, fine-textured foliage, akin to that of a maidenhair fern. It exhibits a soft green hue and each leaf is intricately divided into smaller leaflets giving it a lacey appearance that provides a light, airy feel to the garden. During the blooming period, the plant displays charming flowers with pendulous, pale yellow petals, though they can sometimes be more cream-colored. These blossoms are quite unique, as they have a fluffy look due to the many extended, hair-like stamens which often outnumber the petals, giving the flowers a whimsical, almost fuzzy texture. The flowers are arrayed in loose clusters, which float above the foliage, creating a subtle yet enchanting effect. Following the flowering period, ornamental seed heads take their place, adding prolonged interest to the plant's profile. The overall form of lesser meadow-rue is a relaxed, mounding clump, with a soft, fine texture that contrasts beautifully with plants of bolder foliage in a garden setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Lesser Meadow-Rue, Small Meadow-Rue, Lesser Meadow Rue

    • Common names

      Thalictrum lucidum, Thalictrum minus subsp. majus, Thalictrum minus var. majus, Thalictrum minus var. saxatile, Thalictrum minus var. typicum.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Lesser Meadow Rue, also known as Thalictrum minus, is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to humans. However, as with many plants, it may cause irritation or an allergic reaction in some individuals if ingested or handled. There is limited information available about the specific symptoms of poisoning from this particular plant, but it is generally advisable to avoid eating or handling unknown plants without recognizing their potential effects. If any part of Lesser Meadow Rue is ingested and symptoms do arise, medical attention should be sought.

    • To pets

      Lesser Meadow Rue, also known by its botanical name Thalictrum minus, does not have a well-documented profile for toxicity in pets. This means that there might not be known, significant toxic effects of this plant on pets, such as dogs or cats. However, since many plants can cause varying levels of sensitivity or allergic reactions, it is still advisable to prevent pets from ingesting this plant. If a pet does consume Lesser Meadow Rue and exhibits unusual symptoms or behaviors, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Thalictrum minus, commonly known as Lesser Meadow-rue, is valued for its delicate, ornamental foliage and attractive flowers, which add aesthetic appeal to gardens and landscapes.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The plant's flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, enhancing local biodiversity.
    • Shade Tolerance: Lesser Meadow-rue can thrive in partially shaded areas, making it a versatile addition to woodland gardens and understory plantings.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, Thalictrum minus is relatively drought-tolerant, requiring minimal supplemental watering in suitable climates.
    • Erosion Control: The root system of Lesser Meadow-rue can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes and in naturalized areas.
    • Low Maintenance: This perennial is generally low maintenance, requiring little care once it is established in the appropriate conditions.
    • Seasonal Interest: Thalictrum minus offers seasonal interest with its changing foliage and blooms, contributing to the year-round aesthetics of the landscape.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Thalictrum minus contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation.
    • Astringent: It has been traditionally used for its astringent properties to help tighten and tone skin.
    • Diuretic: This plant may have diuretic effects that help promote the excretion of urine.
    • Antibacterial: Some studies suggest that this plant has antibacterial properties.
    • Antifungal: There is evidence to suggest that Thalictrum minus may possess antifungal activity.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a dye plant: Thalictrum minus can yield a yellowish-green dye when the roots are processed accordingly. This can be used in traditional textile dyeing techniques.
    • Insect repellent: The plant may contain certain compounds that, when crushed or rubbed on skin, can help repel insects, though this is not its primary usage.
    • Culinary garnish: Although not commonly used, some parts of the plant can be used as a decorative garnish for culinary dishes due to its delicate foliage.
    • Floristry: Lesser meadow-rue's airy and elegant flowers can be incorporated into floral arrangements, adding height and texture to bouquets.
    • Garden aesthetics: With its fine foliage and subtle flowers, Lesser meadow-rue can be grown for its aesthetic contribution to cottage gardens and informal borders.
    • Erosion control: The plant can be used in landscaping to help stabilize soil in areas prone to erosion due to its root structure.
    • Photography subject: The intricate details and natural beauty of Lesser meadow-rue make it a captivating subject for botanical photographers and nature enthusiasts.
    • Educational tool: This species can be used in educational settings to teach about pollination, as it attracts a variety of pollinators.
    • Art inspiration: The delicate structure of Lesser meadow-rue has inspired various artists in creating botanical illustrations and nature-inspired art pieces.
    • Companion planting: Lesser meadow-rue can be planted alongside other species in a garden to create a diverse and supportive ecosystem for beneficial insects and wildlife.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Lesser Meadow Rue is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Lesser Meadow Rue is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Elegance: Commonly known as lesser meadow-rue, Thalictrum minus has intricate, delicate foliage and airy flowers, which symbolize grace and elegance in the plant world.
    • Overcoming Challenges: This plant's ability to thrive in various conditions, from shaded areas to rocky soils, represents the trait of resilience and overcoming obstacles in life.
    • Uniqueness: The unique appearance of lesser meadow-rue, with its distinctive leaves and flowers, symbolizes the value of individuality and embracing one's own uniqueness.

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

    Lesser Meadow Rue should be watered moderately, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist but never waterlogged. Water it with about 1 gallon per week during the growing season, but reduce watering in winter to prevent root rot. It's better to water this plant deeply and less frequently to encourage strong root growth. Ensure that the water penetrates the soil to a depth of at least a couple of inches. Adjust the amount based on weather conditions; during periods of drought, it may require additional water, while in cool, rainy spells, you can cut back.

  • sunLight

    Lesser Meadow Rue thrives in dappled sunlight or part shade. The ideal spot is one that mimics its natural woodland habitat, receiving morning sun followed by afternoon shade or light filtered through higher foliage. Avoid placing it in full, intense sun, which can scorch its leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lesser Meadow Rue is hardy and can tolerate a temperature range from about 20°F to 85°F. However, it grows best in temperatures between 60°F and 75°F. Protect the plant from extreme cold by mulching around the base in the fall, and ensure it's not exposed to prolonged temperatures at the lower end of its tolerance to prevent frost damage.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Lesser Meadow Rue to maintain its shape, remove dead or wilted leaves, and promote bushier growth. The best time to prune is late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Cut back the old foliage to the ground, and thin out any crowded areas to improve air circulation. Pruning may be done annually, or as needed if the plant becomes too dense.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Lesser Meadow-rue (Thalictrum minus) thrives best in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. A mix of two parts garden soil, one part peat or compost, and one part perlite or sand is ideal. The optimal soil pH for Lesser Meadow-rue is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 5.5 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Lesser Meadow-rue typically does not require frequent repotting and can be done every 2 to 3 years. It is best to repot in the spring when the plant shows signs of outgrowing its current container or when the soil is depleted.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Lesser Meadow-rue prefers moderate humidity levels. Ensure that the surrounding environment has a humidity level between 40% to 60% for optimal growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, fertile, moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Thalictrum minus, also known as lesser meadow-rue, begins its life cycle with seed germination, typically occurring in the spring when temperatures and soil conditions become optimal for growth. The germinated seeds produce small seedlings, which develop into juvenile plants with a rosette of leaves close to the ground. As the plant matures, it develops a flowering stalk and finely divided, feathery leaves characteristic of the species. Flowering occurs in early summer, showcasing clusters of small, delicate flowers which might be greenish, yellowish or purplish, depending on the variety, and lack petals; instead, they feature prominent stamens that attract pollinators. Following pollination, the plant produces dry, winged fruits called achenes that disperse to propagate the next generation. The plant may die back to the ground in winter, especially in colder climates, but it is a perennial and will resprout from its rhizomes with the return of favorable conditions in the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • The Lesser Meadow Rue, with its delicate foliage and graceful flowers, is commonly propagated through seed sowing. To propagate by seeds, the best time is generally in the spring after the risk of frost has passed. The process involves scattering the seeds over a tray of moist, well-drained seed starting mix and lightly covering them with additional soil. Position the tray in a warm, bright area but out of direct sunlight to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. Seedlings are typically ready to transplant into individual pots once they've developed a couple of true leaves. It's important to maintain steady moisture throughout the germination process without making the soil waterlogged, which would be detrimental to the seedlings. Patience is key, as germination can be slow and may take several weeks.