Thalictrum (tha-LICK-trum) species, commonly known as meadow rues, are closely related to buttercups and columbines.
Meadow rues produce mounds of lacy blue-green leaves. The flowers don't have petals but instead have prominent stamens that are born in clusters and held high above the leaves. They look delicate and grow well in partial shade if the soil is rich and moisture retentive. They need shade especially in the afternoon during hot weather.
Since these plants break dormancy late in the spring, one must be careful not to disturb them inadvertently when cleaning up the shade garden. They don't need division and persist for many years, though they can be moved and divided in either the fall or the spring.
Meadow rues produce blooms that are lavender, white or yellow. The columbine meadow rue blooms in early summer and produces purple or white flowers in zones 4 through 8. Its botanical name is quite a mouthful, Aquilegifolium (ack- wih-lee-jih-FOE-lee-um) flavum (FLAY-vum).
The yellow meadow rue is a vigorous one to three foot tall species with panicles of scented yellow blooms and it grows in zones 5 through 9.
All meadow rues produce delicately textured height that is valuable in the shade garden.