Thalictrum Delavayi is a tall and graceful plant with airy foliage like that of a maidenhair fern. From mid-summer to early autumn it provides a striking display with clusters of tiny pearl-like buds that open to lilac flowers with striking yellow anthers. Sun or semi-shade. Rich moist soil is best. 4 feet plus. 2 litre pot.
The species name honours Père Jean-Marie Delavay, a 19th century French missionary and botanist, after whom a whole raft of flowers seem to have been named. There is an alterative species name in T. Dipterocarpum. Delavay spent much of his time in China, which is - surprise, surprise - where this form of thalictrum comes from, hence its common name of Chinese meadow rue.
Meadows and on the banks of streams at higher altitude are the native habitats of Thalictrum Delavayi, so it's understandable that it prefers a soil that retains some moisture in a garden setting. It will tolerant quite a lot of shade, which makes it a good tall flowering specimen for a shady spot that may otherwise be hard to fill. We find that a little support - nothing more than a single small stick to anchor the main stem - can be helpful in some situations.
After this plant featured on an episode of Gardeners' World a couple of years ago we rapidly sold out! For more information on Thalictrum Delavayi and how to grow it, take a look at this article by Carol Klein. In it she mentions a cultivar called Decorum, which we did grow a few years ago. Not sure why we stopped.
Thalictrum Delavayi is a tall hardy perennial plant with ferny leaves and purple flowers with yellow anthers in mid to late summer suitable sun or semi-shade.
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