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Thalictrum Black Stockings is a real show-off of a plant, tall and magnificent. In early to mid summer clouds of fluffy lilac flowers float serenely atop arrestingly jet black stems, which explains the name. The ferny foliage is another plus point for a plant which pretty much has it all. Sun or semi-shade. Rich moist soil is best. 4 to 6 feet. 2 litre pot.


Black Stockings is a cultivar of the species Thalictrum Aquilegifolium (this one acknowledges its resemblance to aquilegia in terms of its leaves): now, when we grew the straight species back in the dim and distant past, we didn’t actually think much of it, but this improved version, developed and introduced by the prolific Terra Nova Nurseries in the USA, takes it into an entirely different league. It’s one of those plants that captures the heart on first sight, certainly when the fluffy lilac blooms are doing their thing atop the jet back stems, that is.

Thalictrum are found in many places around the world, with T. Aquilegifolium hailing from Europe and Asia, and their preferred habitat in the wild would be moist meadows, streamsides and anywhere with a bit of moist shade. Which tells us two things: (1) plant your Black Stockings where it’s not going to get bone dry in the summer, and (2) it won’t require full sun to grow and flower well.

Black Stockings is an easy plant to care for. Just remove old flowering heads once they have gone over, and cut back to ground level before winter sets in (or in early spring, as you prefer).

Thalictrum Black Stockings is a tall hardy perennial plant with ferny leaves and fluffy purple pink flowers in mid to late summer suitable sun or semi-shade.

A Terra Nova introduction. Photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries Inc.

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