Thalictrum - Growing Guide

Growing Thalictrum


Thalictrum are tall growing, clump forming, rhizomatous perennials which are normally positioned at the back or in the centre of the herbaceous border. They like a well-prepared soil bed with the addition of dung and leaf mould to get them to grow taller and create the best flowering displays. The soil needs to be moist and thalictrum are therefore best positioned in partial shade.

Thalictrum flowers are actually petalless although they do not give this appearance. This is because individual flowers, appearing in huge terminal panicles, have petal-like sepals and numerous enlarged and showy stamens.

These plants can readily be grown from seed sown in the cold frame when ripe or in the spring. It should be noted that T. delavayi ‘Hewitt’s Double’ is sterile and can only be reproduced by lifting and dividing the clump when dormant. In fact, this plant benefits from being lifted and divided every three years or so to reinvigorate it.

The tall growing thalictrum varieties which we offer will need plant supports or staking at least when the flowers are full out especially in windy periods or thunderstorms.

T. aquilegiifolium ‘Thundercloud’ grows to around 3ft in height from a clump that may be 18in across when established. This variety has dark purple stamens within its flowers which appear in flat topped terminal panicles in early summer.

T. delavayi ‘Album’ has flowers with large white sepals, extended white anthers, and yellowish stamens which are borne in widely branching, pyramidical, terminal and axillary panicles. It grows to around 4ft with a spread of about half that and flowers away from midsummer well into the autumn. The foliage is also an attractive lime green.

T. delavayi ‘Hewitt’s Double’ lacks stamens but has more numerous rich mauve sepals forming very long lasting, rounded, pompom-like double flowers. This popular and widely grown variety also grows to around 4ft and flowers from July to September. Its foliage resembles that of the maidenhair fern.

Lifting and Splitting - Video Tip


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