SORRY, CURRENTLY SOLD OUT. The best way to describe this splendid plant is as Thalictrum Delavayi on steroids. Rochebruneanum has the same clusters of tiny pearl-like buds that open to lilac flowers with striking yellow anthers, but rather coarser foliage and is altogether a larger and more muscular specimen. Nice dark purple stems. Sun or semi-shade. Rich moist soil is best. To 5 feet. 2 litre pot.

sold out

Thalictrum Rochebruneanum generally doesn't need staking, so robust is this big boy. Very striking at the back of a border or as a specimen plant, it in many ways is the equal of the very popular Black Stockings, as the stems can be very darkly coloured, and indeed it has a longer, later (and very different) flowering habit. It’s certainly a strong contender for our best thalictrum award.

There seems to be some doubt as to how to spell the species name, with some (including us for many years) favouring -ianum, but the correct version (the RHS is as good an authority as any) appears to be -eanum. Quite where the name comes from, we are not sure: there is a town in the French alps called Rochebrune, but how that might have come to attach itself to a plant native to Japan, we can’t figure. We are sure someone will one day enlighten us.

Despite having nothing really to do with the herb, Thalictrum is commonly known as meadow rue, and T. Rochebruneanum has acquired the soubriquet of lavender mist meadow rue, certainly in America anyway. Which is a good description of the airy cloud of flowers that it is adorned with in mid and late summer. As a cluster of flowers goes over, cut back the stem to the next bud point below that, and more flowers will be produced. In this way you can prolong the flowering period almost indefinitely. Cut back to the base in late autumn or early spring, as you prefer.

Thalictrum Rochebruneanum is a tall hardy perennial with ferny leaves and purple flowers with yellow anthers in mid to late summer suitable sun or semi-shade.

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