26 June 2011

clear winner: thalictrum

Last spring, I bought six delicate little wisps of plants from Clear Brook Farm in Vermont: Thalictrum rochebrunianum. These were very pretty little plants last year, with columbine-ish foliage and stems that have a purplish bloom on them. I loved the look of the plants when they were a foot tall.

This year the story is a little different. The plants have grown quite a bit; they're somewhat taller than I imagined they would get. That's an understatement. They're actually quite a bit taller. I mean, oh my gosh, these guys are tall!

I can't get a clear idea of what conditions thalictrums want or need, although it seems to me that this crew is pretty happy where it is, which is in full sun in a well drained spot. The blooms are supposed to come soon, and they will be clouds of purple and yellow (yellow anthers, purple petals). Other thalictrums are shade and moisture lovers, bloom in spring, and are considerably shorter.

I can imagine getting sort of absorbed in a genus of plants that has such variation.

Thalictrum: My new friends.


  1. Great plants. My Thalictrum "X" is 9 or 10 feet tall, and lasts well into or through winter, depending on how early ice falls.

  2. Hi, James! The stems are sturdy for sure. Really looking forward to the flowers. I think my variety is 'Lavender Mist,' but Clear Brook Farm sometimes doesn't label things correctly (we've yet to buy a correctly labeled Nicotiana sylvestris, for example).