Thalictrum venulosum (Veiny Meadow Rue)

Plant Info
Also known as: Northern Meadow-rue
Family:Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist rocky or gravelly soil; prairies, fens, shores, open woods, thickets
Bloom season:June - July
Plant height:12 to 40 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: indistinct Cluster type: panicle

[photo of female flowers] Male and female flowers are on separate plants. Flowers of both sexes are about 1/3 inch long and petal-less, with 4 or 5 egg-shaped, pale green to purple sepals. Female flowers are erect to nodding and have about 10 yellow to purplish to red pistils.

[photo of male flowers] Male flowers are mostly dangling with numerous yellow to red stamens. For both sexes, flowers are in open to dense branching clusters at the top of the plant

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: compound Leaf type: lobed

[photo of mid-stem leaves] Leaves are 3 or 4 times compound in groups of 3. Leaflets are about ¾ inch long and wide with 3 to 5 notches or shallow, rounded lobes, though the primarily lobes may be further notched. Lateral leaflets are very short stalked. The upper surface is hairless and the lower is sparsely glandular and/or minutely hairy. Basal leaves are long stalked. Stem leaves number 1 to 3, the lower long stalked, the leaf at the base of the first flowering branch stalkless or nearly so. Stems are erect and hairless.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

The female flowers form clusters of dry seed, each seed less than ¼ inch long, oblong-elliptic, distinctly veined and often distinctly curved.


Veiny Meadow Rue resembles other Meadow Rue species in Minnesota, but is distinguished by leaves 3 or 4 times compound, only 1 to 3 stem leaves, leaflets with 3 to 5 lobes and usually sparsely glandular on the underside. It is a smaller plant than both Tall Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum) and Purple Meadow Rue (Thalictrum revolutum), both of which have leaves 3 to 5 times compound and leaflets more consistently 2 or 3 lobed. More similar is Early Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dioicum), a primarily woodland species with leaves 1 to 4 times compound, leaflets with 3 to 12 lobes, longer stalks on the leaflets, and that finishes blooming about the time Veiny Meadow Rue starts.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Marshall and Kittson counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: gary - Cook County
on: 2022-05-29 20:48:08

Along the edges of a small marshy pond northwest of Devil Track Lake.

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