THALICTRUM or MEADOW RUE

P. Border plants of great beauty, some rather difficult, but worth every care. All have fern-like foliage. Thalictrum dipterocarpum grows to about 6 ft. on ideal soil, having wiry stems bearing numerous lavender-mauve flowers with prominent yellow anthers in July and August. It does well in cooler northern gardens and in Scotland, and must have perfectly-drained, deep, fairly rich, light to medium soil, which does not dry out too rapidly. Prepare the ground very carefully, working in plenty of compost, damp peat, and materials which will help to conserve moisture. Some support (e.g. pea-sticks) will be needed. There is a most attractive white form, which is shorter and more compact. Both are delightful for indoor decoration but must be cut when the flowers are fairly well expanded. Hewitt’s Double is a superb variety, a lilac-mauve sport from T. dipterocarpum which is fully double, and very long-lasting when cut. It is less vigorous than the type and must be ‘done well’ in the same way. Hewitt’s Double does not set seed but may be increased by division in spring (the best planting time). The plant itself is slow of increase and is accordingly more expensive than the type.

T. aquilegifolium purpureum reaches 4 ft. with fluffy lilac-purple flowers. There is a pleasing white form. Bee’s Purple is shorter in growth.

T. glau-cum (speciosissimum) has soft yellow flowers and glaucous-grey foliage T. alpinum is the dwarf alpine meadow rue, only reaching 4 in. The flowers are whitish-bronze.

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