When you begin to design a native woodland garden you need to start with framework plants. Trees and shrubs are a given but what herbaceous plants are necessary? First you need to consider that woodland favorites such as dutchman's beeches, toothwort, shooting star and Virginia bluebells are spring ephemeral, that is they flower and set their fruit and die back or go dormant in June. You need plants to take place. Early Meadow Rue flowers in the early spring but it keeps actively growing until late summer when it turns yellow or bronzy colored.
Early meadow Rue is a multi-season plant. It comes out of the ground a blue green color. Its leaves quickly unfurl into a lovely dark green plant. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. This has no baring on their growth unless you want seed. Seed is only produced on female plants. The flowers on both plants are like little tassels. The females are greenish brown. On the male the tassels are yellow. They are not very showy but are interesting. The spring in the woodland garden is the most interesting time.
The plants grow from 12 inches to 24 inches. The leaves are columbine like and move in the wind to add texture to the garden. Early meadow rue will grow in a dry soil or a moist one. It needs part to full shade. Four hours of sun or less is fine. Pair it with any woodland plants such as false solomon's seal, bloodroot, dutchman's beeches, toothwort, Shooting star and Virginia bluebells are all good companions. The flowers will not clash with any color scheme. It is a must have for all woodland gardens.
Thalictrum diocum - Early meadow rue
-This plant has lacy foliage that moves in the wind
-Excellent backbone plant of the woodland garden
-Stays green all summer
-Tolerates dry soils