Plant A Day – Purple Meadow-rue

Purple Meadow-rue Thalictrum daycarpum

Purple Meadow-rue
Thalictrum daycarpum

How do you tell the difference between Purple Meadow-rue and Waxyleaf Meadow-rue?  You crush the leaves and sniff them!  As noted botanist Scott Namestnick says:

” If you crush the leaves of T. revolutum (Waxyleaf Meadow-rue) and smell them, you’ll know that’s what you have.  They have a distinctive, disgusting, body odor-like smell.  I nearly gag when I smell it, and I’m getting nauseous even thinking about it.”

That sure is a lot easier than looking for glandular hairs underneath the leaf.  What is a glandular hair anyway?!  I suppose it’s a hair that looks like a gland.

No glandular hairs on the back of this leaf

No glandular hairs on the back of this leaf

flowerheads

flowerheads

Purple Meadow-rue has separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) plants.  This is a staminate plant.

Purple Meadow-rue has separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) plants. This is a staminate plant.

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