Herb: Meadowrue

Latin name: Thalictrum polycarpum

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Medicinal use of Meadowrue:

The crushed stem and leaf juice has been used as a wash in the treatment of headaches. A poultice of the pounded plant has been applied to sprains.

Description of the plant:


180 cm
(6 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Mixed evergreen and oak forests, mainly below 750 metres in California.

Other uses of Meadowrue:

A bright yellow dye is obtained from the whole plant.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seedbed in spring. Plant them into their permanent positions the following spring. Division in spring as new growth commences or in the autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Cultivation of Meadowrue:

Mixed evergreen and oak forests, mainly below 750 metres in California.

Known hazards of Thalictrum polycarpum:

Although no records of toxicity have been found for this plant, it belongs to a family that includes many poisonous plants so some caution is advised.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.