WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on May 16th, 2010

Early Meadow Rue

May 16

Generally I don’t think of gender when it comes to plants. Even when I look at their private parts I don’t think about it. Plants are plants and flowers are usually perfect.

Early Meadow Rue doesn’t have perfect flowers. It’s flowers are split into male and female flowers on separate plants. Unlike it’s bisexual family members Early Meadow Rue has distinct genders.

Early Meadow Rue – Thalictrum dioicum

Without the flowers I can’t tell who’s a boy or a girl.

Early Meadow Rue

These were found in the moist woods on a rocky north facing slope with limestone outcrops. This woodland wildflower is not an ephemeral and the foliage will remain all season as a dainty ground cover that produces offshoots from the roots after flowering.

Female Flowers
Female flowers of Early Meadow Rue

Male Flowers
Male flowers of Early Meadow Rue

The early part of the name refers to the early bloom time. Early Meadow Rue takes advantage of the spring time sun and flowers as the trees leaf out.


‘I can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl.’

Back in the day I used to hear that directed towards me all too often. After getting out of the Army in ’72 I grew a pony tail AND mustache. I had my reasons but I was not a hippy. Back then I was more of a deranged Viet Nam veteran than anything so it’s not surprising I always had an answer for those who were a little red around the collar.

“Really?, do all the women around here have mustaches or just your girlfriend?’

That’s when the fun usually started.

2 Responses

  1. Town Mouse Says:

    Interesting. I’m sort of used to this from trees or maybe willows, but small flowering plants? Well, live and learn…

  2. Becky Says:

    Viva la difference! The lacy airy plants are so pretty even without their sexy flowers. They remind me of maidenhair fern.