Chinese Meadow Rue Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
pointed Chinese meadow rue


Commonly known as the Chinese Meadow Rue, this plant boasts a delicate and ornamental appearance characterized by its airy, fine-textured foliage and unique floral display. The leaves of the Chinese Meadow Rue are typically compound, with individual leaflets that are often rounded, creating an almost lacy effect that adds to the lightness of the plant's visual impact. During the flowering season, it produces clusters of small, pendulous flowers that create a soft, cloud-like effect above the foliage. The flowers are usually a gentle lavender to mauve color, and they consist of conspicuous, long, and slender stamens that give them a feathery look, with the absence of traditional petals contributing to their ethereal quality. These blooms can provide a striking visual contrast to the greenery beneath them, resembling a mist of color floating above the leaves. After flowering, the plant forms seed heads that are equally decorative and maintain the plant's visual interest into the late season. The overall impression of the Chinese Meadow Rue is one of grace and elegance, making it a cherished choice for gardeners looking to create a soft, naturalistic landscape. Its ability to blend with other perennials and provide textural contrast is one of its key ornamental features, allowing it to thrive in various garden designs while contributing a unique and airy charm.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Chinese Meadow Rue, Yunnan Meadow Rue

    • Common names

      Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum, commonly known as Chinese meadow-rue, is not widely reported to have significant toxicity to humans. However, as with any plant, sensitivity varies with each individual, and some may experience mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested. It is always best practice to avoid eating plants unless they are known to be safe for consumption. If someone does ingest Chinese meadow-rue and experiences symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, they should seek medical attention.

    • To pets

      Chinese meadow-rue is not widely documented as a toxic plant for pets. However, individual animals might be sensitive to any given plant. If a pet ingests Chinese meadow-rue and shows signs of illness, including vomiting, diarrhea, or unusual behavior, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian promptly. Owners should take care to prevent pets from ingesting plants that are not confirmed to be non-toxic.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-7 feet (1.2-2.1 meters)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Thalictrum delavayi, commonly known as Chinese meadow rue, adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its delicate, feathery foliage and airy clusters of purple flowers.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The blooms of Chinese meadow rue are attractive to bees and butterflies, helping to support local pollinator populations.
    • Naturalizes Easily: Once established, Chinese meadow rue can spread and naturalize in suitable conditions, filling out garden spaces and creating a wildflower meadow effect.
    • Drought Tolerance: After becoming established, the plant has moderate drought tolerance, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
    • Seasonal Interest: With its summer blooming and attractive foliage, Chinese meadow rue provides seasonal interest in the garden.
    • Shade Tolerance: As a woodland species, it can thrive in shaded areas where other sun-loving flowering plants might struggle.
    • Deer Resistant: The plant is considered relatively resistant to deer, which can be an advantage in areas with high deer populations.

  • 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

    • Garden ornamental: The Chinese meadow rue, with its delicate foliage and airy flower clusters, is prized for its decorative appeal and often used to enhance the aesthetic of gardens and landscapes.
    • Butterfly attraction: Its flowers provide nectar for butterflies, thus aiding in the support of local butterfly populations.
    • Photography backdrops: The elegant structure of Chinese meadow rue can serve as a photogenic backdrop for portrait and macro photography.
    • Dried arrangements: The flowers and seed heads of Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum can be dried and used in long-lasting floral arrangements.
    • Shade tolerance: Chinese meadow rue can be used to provide texture and interest in shaded areas of the garden where other plants might struggle.
    • Border plants: Their tall, slender growth habit makes them suitable for use as border plants in garden designs.
    • Education and research: The plant can be used in botanical studies to better understand the ecology and morphology of the Ranunculaceae family.
    • Seasonal interest: Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum is a perennial that adds late season blooms to the garden when many other plants have finished flowering.
    • Theme gardens: Suitable for inclusion in cottage gardens and other garden themes that emphasize naturalistic or romantic design elements.
    • Cut flowers: Although not commonly used, the flowers could be cut and used in informal flower arrangements due to their unique and delicate appearance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum, commonly known as the Chinese meadow rue, is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Chinese meadow rue is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Elegance: With its delicate, lace-like foliage and ethereal flowers, Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum, commonly known as the Chinese Meadow Rue, is often associated with elegance and a graceful presence.
    • Lightness: The plant's airy quality and the way its flowers seem to float above the foliage give it a symbolic meaning of lightness and an almost fairy-like charm.
    • Mystery: The subtle colors and intricate detail of the Chinese Meadow Rue's flowers lend a sense of mystery and depth, symbolizing the unseen beauty of nature.
    • Unity: The plant’s tendency to grow in clusters with multiple delicate stems and flowers coming together can symbolize the idea of unity and collective strength.

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

    Chinese meadow rue should be watered deeply but infrequently; this promotes the development of a strong root system. Aim to water the plant about once a week, providing around 1 gallon of water per session for a medium-sized plant, more during hot, dry spells or if it's a larger specimen. Make sure the soil is well-draining to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. It's crucial to adjust your watering schedule based on rainfall, as the plant will require less supplemental water during wetter periods. Always check the top inch of soil for dryness before watering again to ensure the plant does need additional moisture.

  • sunLight

    Chinese meadow rue thrives in partial shade to full sun, but in areas with particularly intense sunlight, a spot that offers afternoon shade is ideal. It appreciates bright conditions but can be sensitive to scorching midday sun, especially in hotter climates. Ensuring this balance of sun and shade will promote healthy foliage and optimal flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Chinese meadow rue prefers a temperate climate and is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8 withstanding temperatures as low as -20°F and high summer temperatures around 80°F. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 50°F and 70°F. Ensure that the plant is mulched well to protect its roots in the winter and provide some shade during the hottest parts of the summer.

  • scissorsPruning

    Chinese meadow rue should be pruned to remove faded flowers and encourage a second bloom, usually in late summer. This light pruning keeps the plant looking tidy and may promote additional flowering. Pruning can also be done in the spring to remove any dead or damaged stems from the winter, ideally just as new growth is beginning to emerge.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Chinese Meadow Rue thrives best in a soil mix that is well-draining, fertile, and moist. A blend of garden soil, compost, and perlite or sand facilitates good drainage and retains moisture. Preferably, the soil pH should be neutral to slightly acidic, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. Regular organic mulch can help maintain soil moisture and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Chinese Meadow Rue should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. However, as it is generally grown as an outdoor plant, repotting is less common unless it's potted. In larger landscapes, they are typically not repotted but may be divided or have soil amended.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Chinese Meadow Rue prefers an environment with moderate to high humidity but is quite adaptable to a range of humidity levels. Providing a humidity level of 40-60% is generally sufficient to maintain healthy growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light and maintain moist soil.

    • Outdoor

      Place in partial shade and keep soil consistently moist.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum, commonly known as Chinese Meadow Rue, starts its life as a seed, which germinates in moist, well-draining soil in the spring. The seedling develops a root system and foliage in its juvenile stage, growing into a robust clump. As it matures, the plant produces tall, branching stems with lacy, blue-green leaves and by summer, it forms cloud-like clusters of delicate, wiry flowers with hanging stamens. After pollination, typically by wind or insects, the flowers produce achenes, which are dry fruits containing seeds that are dispersed by wind or animals. The plant goes into dormancy in the winter, with its foliage dying back to the ground, to re-emerge the following spring from the perennial rootstock. The Chinese Meadow Rue completes its life cycle annually whilst the root system remains perennial, allowing new growth each year.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Propogation: The Chinese Meadow Rue, Thalictrum delavayi var. mucronatum, is typically propagated by seed. The best time for sowing seeds is either in the fall or early spring. For fall sowing, the cold temperatures help to stratify the seeds naturally, which is a process that breaks dormancy and promotes germination. In the spring, if artificial stratification is required, seeds can be mixed with a moist medium like sand or vermiculite and placed in a plastic bag. This bag is then stored in a refrigerator for about three to four weeks at a temperature around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) before sowing. When it's time to plant, seeds should be sown in a well-draining soil mix and only lightly covered as they require light for germination. Seedlings can be expected to emerge in 15-30 days, depending on conditions.