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

Thalictrum sparsiflorum Turcz. ex Fisch. & C.A. Mey.
few-flowered meadowrue (fewflower meadow-rue)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26107)

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Distribution of Thalictrum sparsiflorum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome; stems erect, slender, 30-100 cm tall, simple or branched above, smooth.
Mostly stem leaves, alternate, the basal and stem leaves stalked, (2-) 3-times 3-parted, the leaflets thin, green and smooth above, paler and glandular-hairy below, circular to egg- or heart-shaped, 10-20 mm long, the tips round-toothed; upper stem leaves unstalked.
Inflorescence of few-flowered, axillary racemes, the bracts leaf-like, large, the flowers bisexual, the flower stalks erect in flower, curved near tip in fruit; petals absent; sepals 5, whitish or greenish, often purplish-tinged, elliptic, 2-3.5 mm long; stamens 12-20, the filaments whitish, more or less club-shaped, 3-4.5 mm long, the anthers 0.5-0.8 mm long.
Achenes, 6-12, spreading to reflexed, obliquely egg-shaped to half diamond-shaped, outer margin straight, 5-6 mm long, 3-4 mm wide, strongly flattened, minutely glandular-hairy, strongly 3- to 5-veined on each side, stalks 0.3-1.5 mm long; beaks 1-1.5 mm long, straight.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows, thickets and forests in the montane zone; frequent in N BC, less frequent S to 53degreeN, amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to ON and S to CO, UT, NV and CA; NE Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Thalictrum sparsiflorum

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) 12 769 2000
Slope Gradient (%) 0 12 60
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
72 197 290
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 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: BWBS(10), CWH(3), ESSF(4), PP(1), SBS(2), SWB(1)


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 sparsiflorum var. richardsonii (A. Gray) B. Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References