Monday, 16 February 2009

Thalictrum 'Elin" ? Opinions Meadow Rue People ?

Can you believe I am actually having a SERIOUS chat about a plant finally ?
Teza and I have been having a conversation about one of my meadow rues .. actually my only one since I had such a bad experience from a standard type that I am STILL pulling out volunteers 6 years later .. now how is that for a turn off of a particular plant ?
However .. this very special one I brought home at almost the same time frame , made me love it right from the start in it's little pot .. the foliage was so delicate and lacy .. i thought I could forgive it anything ?
This bottom picture is its first year .. bottom right side by my stone face .. a little innocent gorgeous plant .. forgive the red mulch .. as I said almost 7 years ago !!

The following pictures are through a few years up to 2007 July on the very last picture. They are not well defined pictures because this is such an 'airy" lacy plant .. very difficult to get just the right light and consistency to show off how truly gorgeous these flowers and deep burgundy stems are.

So what is the problem then ? ... I think I know what cultivar it is against the tag's description and label. It was identified as simply "Yunnan Meadow Rue" .. and I didn't think much about it until the last couple of years when this delicate wonder has been topping 10 plus feet in height. Yes it is amazing to see .. I have a cathedral shaped metal plant support for the lower body but it is VERY strong and not truly in need a a support.

Teza was asking questions about it so I had to THINK .. and came up with what I thought was a more accurate classification Thalictrum 'Elin" .. a Swedish hybrid of rochebrunianum (tall self supporting purple/burgundy stems with violet flowers) and flavum var. glaucum (true scale height and lacy leaves)

Teza is thinking more along the lines of Thalictrum diffusiflorum ..discovered by Hinkley discovered in Yunnan province in China . BUT he agrees with me that mine has exceptional height .. it is easy care (in fact hardly any care , it takes care of itself in other words !). Plus it does not self seed or run .. it is a neat clump. So .. I think we would enjoy having other experienced gardeners with these plants give an opinion about my treasure ? .. The pictures are not good .. but I think you can get the general idea of the flower formation .. and as I have said it truly is a delicate giant in height !


Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Joy,
My, it did grow! And you describe it so well...'a delicate giant'...the flowers do look delicate, yet it sounds like the plant itself is strong and large. I can't comment on other aspects of it but I'll agree, it is a pretty plant;)

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Ah ha! Now I finally can figure out the plant that you guys are talking about. I was wondering.

That is beautiful, I have thalictrum and you are right, it does volunteer freely. But now I am not sure which variety I have.....

Must get this one.


Gail said...

Hi Joy, I only have the small Thalictrum thalictroides and one taller native...thalictrum dioicum I am here to learn! Gail

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Jan .. thanks for stopping by and your thoughts too girl ! it is a bit of a mystery .. we all know what havoc some plant tags can bring .. this one is surely different from its tag !

Jen .. I highly recommend this one if you can get it .. very self contained but a WOW ! plant indeed : )

Hi Gail .. if Teza hadn't quizzed me on it I would not have realized how exceptional this one is .. it drives home the need for true to : )

Crafty Gardener said...

I hope this doesn't run to a lawsuit for the nursery ... plant tags switched at birth!!

On a more serious note, it sure has turned into a delicate giant and is a lovely addition to the garden.

tina said...

I have tried this in my garden and finally after 5 years it bloomed. I hope it comes back this year. It is not happy here but I'm not sure why. Yours are obviously very happy!

garden girl said...

It's sooo pretty Joy! I haven't ever tried meadow rue, but looking at yours, it's mighty tempting!

WiseAcre said...

You got me. I can't remember what my 'garden' variety is let alone guess yours. Our flowers look very similar. If you pressed me I'd say mine is Thalictrum rochebrunnianum. But you stressing the deep burgundy stems makes me want to lean towards a T. delavayi hybrid for yours

I don't believe 10 feet is too unusual though, given a good home many plants will outperform. 8 feet is a given and mine easily reaches that. I've seen wild tall meadow rue T. polygamun (white flowers) hit 8 feet easily.

As far as volunteers - I never had a problem. But then they are mulched that's often topped off when 'weeds' appear.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

I love these tall graceful Thalictrum. I am trying to grow some spieces from seed here.
I think that Thalictrum Diffusiflorum has the largest flowers about 2.5cm and grows about 4 feet.
Crug Farm nursery here has about 30 different sorts!

Teza said...

Seeing more photos, I am bowing down before you.... I think your suggestion of 'Elin' hits it on the head. Check out my blog under 12.29.08 -that is T. diffusiflorum. I now need an Elin.... hope you didn't mind this exercise of Name that Plant....LOL! I have an inquisitive brain that doesn't shut off!

Gail said...


One thing I did after reading this post was research thalictrum...I think your plant looks and sounds like the Elin that Digging Dog Nursery is selling...they describe theirs as sometimes getting 12 foot know who else loves these guys/gals is Mr McGregor's Daughter!


Linda Lunda said...

I love them all.. the talictrums.
Do you know.. my dougheters name is Elin. Its an old Swedish girlname.
My grandmothers name to.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Linda .. how funny is that girl ? : ) Almost every year I have a plant that is not tagged correctly or in such a general classification it leaves me wondering ? .. I'll let you know if I pursue the lawsuit wink wink !LOL .. and yes, it is a beauty : )

Tina .. I have it in morning sun and afternoon shade (light shade not deep) in where I amended clay soil with lots of peat moss to break it up .. it just "took" to its home from the start and I hope it stays with me forever ? Good luck with yours coming back .. you are one patient gardener girl !

Linda .. they are gorgeous when you get the right one .. try to find something along this line ? I don't want you to go through what I did with a standard one that leaves KIDS for YEARS where you might not want them ? LOL

Dear Mr. WiseA** .. that was what we thought of too .. but then the other characteristics were pulling away .. but the difference between my first one and this is night and day .. I'm glad I didn't steer away from them altogether from that experience ! I wonder what a drift of these would look like ?
The white one you mentioned .. now I would love to see that .. any chance of pictures this coming year ??

Karen .. I am definitely going to check out that site .. it is amazing how many different cultivars there are of this plant .. they make you fall for them .. just the right one to suit every gardener ? Hope you have luck with the species one girl ! and we see pictures too !!

Teza .. I have had a great kick to my garden side and it has been so good to exercise that part of me : ) Thank you !! .. all these winter months have made me rather lazy (oops !) you and I both share that drive to know plants right down to the nitty gritty .. I think a lot of us here do too .. so this has been a wonderful exercise : )

Gail ! way to go girl ! .. in my mind I thought mine was taller than 10 feet but you know how our minds can get ? LOL .. I will have to post a not with MMd or check the back log of her blog and see if she has posts on it ? I thought I checked out DD but I'll go back again and browse : ) Thanks !

Linda : ) I'm not surprised this is named that since it is a Swedish hybrid ! .. I love the name too .. it reminds me of something woodish and impish ? LOL

WiseAcre said...

Since you asked:

Hopefully I'll get better pics this year but I do have a 1/2 decent pics of the flower of Thalictrum polygamum
wild meadow rue
Just make sure you don't click the red button next to the lower pic

While I'm busy spamming my link I might as well give you one to my garden one
garden meadow rue

Anonymous said...

Wow it has done well in your garden Joy! A beautiful specimen indeed.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Dear Mr. WiseA**
Of course I am going to punch the red button !!!! there is no logical reason why I would NOT ! LOL .. I forget that you have quite an amazing site and miss looking at it until you tell me ? haha .. Those are great pictures and I'm hoping to be able to get a decent one of the whole plant this year .. I don't know how but I will think of a way !
Thank you for pointing out your very pretty pictures : )

Hi PG .. it really has done exceptionally well .. I hope this winter hasn't made it cranky ? LOL
I'm looking forward to seeing it again : )

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

You gardeners with your "technical terms" amaze me. I'm lucky if I can remember the common names. But then, I failed Spanish in 10th grade if my memory serves me. So "foreign languages" just don't work for me. I hope you're clear of snow soon.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Brenda .. I know it all sounds a bit ridiculous at times .. some plants have so many 'names" it seems overwhelming. I really do have profound memory problems, but this is one thing I can retain and exercise my mind with for the most part .. other wise the rest of my memory is rather embarrassing at times ? LOL

Jamie and Randy said...

We Planted two cultivar last year and they didn't do very well for us. I hope they come back this year and maybe do better. We have 'Hewitt's Double' and 'Black Stockings'.--Randy

Anonymous said...

I don't have or even know the plant, but I'm enjoying the discussion. :)

GardenJoy4Me said...

Randy , this one was such an easy 'child' in the garden i didn't think anything of it .. now I am grateful to be so lucky with it. I want Black Stockings and Hewitt's as well if I can negotiate some space for them : ) they are very pretty ! .. Fingers crossed they will come back and really wow you for this garden year !

Nancy girl ! that is part of the fun here .. you don't actually have tohave the plant to enjoy the discussion : ) I love to learn about new ones or how they really behave in some one's garden .. it is all good to me !

sweet bay said...

I had T. rochebrunianum for a number of years and I hope I still have it. The flowers are so lovely. It's the perfect see-through plant. The flowers look just like those of your 'delicate giant'. I didn't know any of the meadow rues got to that height! It must look amazing.

Rose said...

Wow, 10 feet ?! I know nothing about the different cultivars of this plant, but I've been seriously considering planting one this spring. Now you've convinced me! What is your secret to growing it so tall?

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hello Sweet Bay
I have to say it surprised me as well with the last two years being that tall .. I almost took it for granted because I didn't realize how special it was .. now I worry will it come through this weird winter we are still having .. fingers crossed !

Hello there Rose !
My secret .. well, it gets morning light and afternoon shade (light shade) the soil is in the area I pretend to have a woodland ? part of my garden .. astilbe chinensis .. monkshood .. a day lily or two ..plants that enjoy a bit of shade after their dose of morning light .. they all seem to like each other, so maybe it is the company it keeps ? : )

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I don't have this one. My Thalictrum is 'Thundercloud.' It probably gets pretty tall in moist soil, but in my very well-drained soil it gets about 4 feet tall. The flowers are also held differently from yours. Your plant is stately and beautiful. Sometimes a mislabeled plant turns out to be even better.

Kerri said...

I've seen it in Kate's garden (Kate Smudges), but have never grown it myself. It's amazing!
This has turned into quite a discussion :)

GardenJoy4Me said...

MMD .. hello there ! .. I am always happy if the mislabeled plant turns out to be a treasure : ) Not to sure about the other way around though ? haha
This is one of the most difficult plants to photograph to get its entire height and width in .. but I am going to think of a way this year because it is an amazing one to see ! I think having the soil on the acidic side helps because it isn't holding moisture long even when well watered. What ever the recipe, I won't fool around with it !

Hi Kerri .. I'm going to be driven to get a great picture of it this year .. funny how a small chat turns into quite a discussion ? : )
I would love to see Kate's now .. I'll have to hunt it down !

Megan said...

10? Freaking? Feet? Are you serious? I had no idea. This is definitely going on my wish list this year.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Megan .. I kid you NOT girl ! It is amazing to see .. it looks so delicate but it poses strongly for itself : )