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Shining Meadow-rue

Thalictrum lucidum

  • Written also: Shining Meadow Rue
  • Family: Buttercup Family – Ranunculaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Rootstock short, runnerless. Tufted.
  • Height: 50–140 cm (20–55 in.).
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic), pale yellow, approx. 1 cm (0.4 in.) across. No petals. Sepals 4–5, greenish white, withering early. Stamens many, filaments erect, pale yellow, 2–4 mm (0.08–0.16 in.) long, anthers clearly shorter. Gynoecium separate, several pistils. Inflorescence erect-branched, quite lax, leafy compound corymb.
  • Leaves: Alternate, stalked, stipulate. Stem leaves 7–10. Blade ovate, longer than broad, 2–4 times pinnate. Leaflets exstipulate. Leaflets elliptic–oblong (lowest leaves) or linear (upper leaves), usually entire, sometimes 2–3-toothed at tip, upper surface shiny, dark green, underside light green, finely haired parallel to veins.
  • Fruit: 8–10-ridged, tipped by a short bristle, stalkless achene.
  • Habitat: Wooded meadows, roadsides and railway embankments.
  • Flowering time: June–July.
  • Endangerment: Critically endangered.

In 1984, close to Finland’s eastern border, two established shining meadow-rue stands were discovered. Hitherto only casual stands had been found in the southern and northern Savo regions of eastern Finland. The stand at Möhkö near Ilomantsi is apparently an arrival from the time of the Winter War in 1939, while in Kantosyrjä in Tohmajärvi the species is known to have been around there since before the last war. The origin of the stand is unclear, but it may be linked to stands on the eastern border. The border of the general area of distribution of the species in southern and eastern Europe comes close to the southern shores of the Baltic Sea and runs through St. Petersburg to Lake Ääninen. Seeds from these plants could have come to Finland with migrating birds, for instance. Several casual stands of shining meadow-rue have also been found on several occasions beside roads and railways.

Finnish stands of shining meadow-rue have remained hidden from botanists for years, so there could be more undiscovered stands in northern Karelia. Searchers would do well to look in damp and relatively rich-soiled habitats, for example flood-influenced meadows. They should also learn to differentiate shining meadow-rue from other species in the family: this is luckily rather easy because other meadow-rue leaflets are not as narrow.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family
Trees and bushes from the same family

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