E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Thalictrum alpinum L.
alpine meadowrue (alpine meadow-rue)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23003)

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Distribution of Thalictrum alpinum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from slender rhizomes; stems single, erect or nearly so, (3) 5-25 cm tall; plants smooth and with a whitish bloom.
Usually all basal, sometimes with single stem leaf near base, leathery, pale green above and paler below, 2-10 cm long, 2-times pinnately compound, the leaflets wedge egg-shaped to circular, 2-10 mm long, tips 3- to 5-lobed, margins slightly rolled under.
Inflorescence an elongate, terminal few-flowered raceme, the flowers bisexual; flower stalks slender, curved; petals absent; sepals 4 (5), early deciduous, purple-tinged, egg-shaped or elliptic, 1- 2.3 mm long; stamens 8-15, the filaments purple, threadlike, the anthers bright yellow, 1.5-3 mm long; stigmas purple.
Achenes, 2-6, slightly curved, lance egg-shaped, 2-3.5 mm long, prominently ribbed, unstalked or short-stalked, on fruiting stalks that curve downward.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet meadows, seepage sites and thickets in the subalpine and alpine zones; frequent N of 56degreeN in BC, rare elsewhere; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to UT, NM and CA; Greenland, Iceland, Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Thalictrum alpinum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 700 1384 2375
Slope Gradient (%) 0 30 120
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
40 198 320
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(2), BWBS(5), ESSF(6), ICH(1), MH(1), MS(1), SBS(1), SWB(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Thalictrum alpinum var. alpinum
Thalictrum alpinum var. hebetum B. Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References