19 February 2012

Meadow Rue or Lavendar Mist is Thalictrum rochebrunianum/rochebruneanum - Ranunculaceae family

North  Creek Nurseries
Lavender Mist or Meadow Rue is a cold hardy (USDA zones 4 to 7) perennial that blooms in late spring. The reason they thrive only up to zone 7 is that they need a cold period to do well.

About the rochebrunianum/rochebruneanum dichotomy in the title - The seed company I purchased them from as well as the new 2012 Sunset Western Garden Book uses rochebrunianum. Rob's Plants say that GRIN, the federal plant taxonomy site, uses rochebruneanum. The only reason to care is that when ordering seeds you might need to know.

GRIN also says that this plant was discovered in Japan in 1878 and was named for a plant explorer, Alphonse Trémeau de Rochebrune (1834-1912).


They are called Meadow Rue because they do best at the edge of a woody area in dappled light. Since they are not fond of wind, heat and humidity, their ability to be glorious in northeast Oklahoma remains to be seen. Our wind, heat and humidity are legendary.

The reason I chose Thalictrum rochebrunianum/rochebruneanum seeds to plant this winter is that this one is said to be sturdier and is one of the few Thalictrums that does not need to be staked.

Smith College
Their leaf clump and tall flower stalks resemble Columbine which will be their companions and neighbors where I plan to plant them if I'm successful in the seed starting process. At maturity the flower stalks will be 4 to 6 FEET tall and the plant will become 1 or 2 feet wide.

According to U.C. Botanic Gardens, they contain no nectar to attract pollinators but rely on the wind to do the job. However, certain caterpillars (Buckeye?) will eat the foliage to the ground as they prepare to become butterflies.

So, wish me luck as I try another experiment in trying to cross over the USDA/GRIN barriers of heat tolerance, humidity allowances, etc. in the ongoing challenge of feeding butterflies.

No comments: