Thalictrum polycarpum

(Torrey) S. Watson

Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 14: 288. 1879

Common names: Tall western meadow-rue
Selected by author to be illustrated
Basionyms: Variety Torrey
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.
Click plate for higher resolution version.
Roots fibrous. Stems erect, 6-18(-20) dm, glabrous. Leaves mostly cauline, petiolate. Leaf blade 3-4×-ternately compound; leaflets orbiculate to obovate, apically 3-cleft or 3-parted, divisions undivided or shallowly 3-lobed, 15-40 mm wide, lobes rounded or somewhat acute, surfaces glabrous or glandular. Inflorescences terminal, panicles, many flowered. Flowers: sepals whitish to purplish, elliptic to ovate or lanceolate, 2-4(-5) mm; filaments whitish to pinkish, 3-6 mm; anthers (1.4-)2-4 mm, distinctly apiculate. Achenes 10-15, spreading in globose heads, not reflexed, sessile or nearly so; stipe 0-0.6 mm; body nearly globose to obovoid to obliquely obovate, laterally compressed, somewhat inflated and papery, 4-7(-8) mm, glabrous to glandular, often with 1 or 2 primary veins on each side, veins sinuous, branched, anastomosing-reticulate; beak 2-4 mm.

Phenology: Flowering mid-late spring (Apr–Jun).
Habitat: Streamsides and other moist places, forests, and open woodlands
Elevation: 600-3100 m


V3 372-distribution-map.gif

Calif., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Mexico (Baja California).


Thalictrum polycarpum is the only species in sect. Heterogamia with anastomosing-reticulate veins on the achene.

The stems and roots of Thalictrum polycarpum are considered poisonous when ingested by humans or cattle; Native Americans used this species medicinally as a wash for headaches, as an applications for sprains, and as a universal charm and panacea (D. E. Moerman 1986).



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.

Facts about "Thalictrum polycarpum"
AuthorMarilyn M. Park + and Dennis Festerling Jr. +
Authority(Torrey) S. Watson +
BasionymsVariety +
Common nameTall western meadow-rue +
DistributionCalif. +, Nev. +, Oreg. +, Utah + and Mexico (Baja California). +
Elevation600-3100 m +
HabitatStreamsides and other moist places, forests, and open woodlands +
IllustratorJohn Myers +
PhenologyFlowering mid-late spring (Apr–Jun). +
Publication titleProc. Amer. Acad. Arts +
Publication year1879 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xml grained fna xml/V3/V3 372.xml +
Special statusSelected by author to be illustrated +
Taxon familyRanunculaceae +
Taxon nameThalictrum polycarpum +
Taxon parentThalictrum sect. Heterogamia +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 3 +