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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Entries in Thalictrum Elin (1)

Sunday
May162010

More on Thalictrum, a Romantic Looking Perennial

Here is family of romantic looking plants that are almost ethereal. They exist in a class of their own.

Thalictrum are tall plants with lacy-looking buds that open into clusters of soft flowers; I stumbled into them by chance at a nursery 17 years ago. When I picked up the first variety that I saw, the plant tag indicated that it was tall. That is all I needed to know. Since I first placed it in my own garden, I have been rewarded with unusually delicate flower buds, on tall strong spikes, that appear to almost sing from a distance before they open up. In all the years that I have been growing this plant, the foliage has remained neat and compact at its mound-like base. It prefers dappled sunlight and is quite happy to grow in part shade. However, in direct sun, it will require extra moisture and it will bow towards the path of moving light. Staking the plant will correct that penchant. I use garden twine to secure the stalk right underneath the neck of the flower head while some gardeners are happy to let this perennial lean into neighboring plants for the unusual effect it creates.

The flower heads of this tall majestic perennial are both delicate and enchanting. However, showier plants in the garden will easily overpower them. Like other perennials in the soft pink-lilac family, the visuals of Thalictrum need to be enhanced. Its intrinsic beauty and unusual florets warrant the extra effort to make it appear impressive by planting it in multiples of three.

Since, my first experience with this plant, many newer cultivars have appeared on the market. The list below, while not all encompassing, reflects my favorites

 

T. Elin. 72 to 96 inches tall , blooms June to August, in Zones 3 to 7. Flowers are a combination of lavender and pale yellow with smoky purple foliage that fades to blue-green. Tall stems are purple. Plant is hard to find.

 

 

 

 

 

T. delavayi Splendide. 48 to 72 inches tall, blooms June to September in Zones 3 to 8. Flowers are lavender-mauve with cream stamens. Stems are black. Plant is hard to find.

 

 

 

 

 

T. Rochebrunianum. 60 inches tall, blooms August to September in Zones 5 to 8. Flowers are purple with dark lavender stems.

 

 

 

T. Black Stocking. 40 inches tall, blooms June to September in Zones 5a to 9b.  Flowers are deep purple with netted black stems. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T. aquilegifolium. 40 inches tall, blooms June to July in Zone 5a to 8b. Flowers are mauve with dark purple stems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T, delavayi Hewitt’s Double. 40 inches tall, blooms July to August in Zones 3 to 9. Flowers are lilac on purple stems.

 

 

 

 

 

T. actaeifolium Perfume Star. 36 inches tall, blooms from June to September in Zones 5 to 9. Flowers are lavender with white tips.