As a rule, we value garden flowers either for their spectacularly colored foliage or for their large inflorescences. The hero in question can not boast of either the first or the second, but it is one of the rare plants-smoke, veils, without which it is almost impossible to create a harmonious flower garden with notes of charm and mystery. It is a delicate and lovely Thalictrum.
The Thalictrum inflorescence in the buds is mesmerizing — perfectly smooth beads strung on thin, elegant stems… The veil of inflorescences is not as transparent as, for example, in Deschampsia or Molinia, but more dense and fluffy, because its flowers are decorated with many stamens. But they are devoid of petals-they are imitated by sepals. In most species, the sepals fall off immediately after the flower is dissolved, with the exception of Thalictrum rochebrunianum, Th. delavayi.
What is the color of the flowers
The color of the flowers, collected in a paniculate, racemose or corymbose inflorescence, is mainly white, light purple, pink, purple, yellow. Thalictrum has thin, openwork foliage (in many species — a bluish shade), resembling the leaves of aquilegia or fern. There are even cultivars with nondescript flowers that are grown just for the sake of the leaves.
What height do they reach and when do they bloom
Among the Thalictrum there are low — growing species (Thalictrum filamentosum) – and high (Thalictrum angustifolium), and the flowering time varies depending on the species and variety. In May, Thalictrum filamentosum and Thalictrum petaloideum bloom. In the first half of summer — Thalictrum aquilegiifolium, followed by Th. flavum and Th. minus, followed by Th. delavayi and Thalictrum rochebrunianum, and the latter blooms longer than other species, about 6 weeks, and often its inflorescences meet the calendar autumn.
One of the most common species – Thalictrum aquilegiifolium-forms a transparent spot with a height and width of about 60-90 cm. It blooms in late spring or early summer, and then fluffy pink or purple flowers are replaced by interesting fruits-leaflets with small, elegant hooks.
The height of Thalictrum varies greatly after flowering (which is especially important for plants of spring and early summer flowering periods), since the stems are weakly leafy or completely devoid of leaves, and when the faded inflorescences are removed, the stems are cut completely to the basal rosette of the leaves.
Popular varieties of Thalictrum
Thalictrum varieties vary in the shape and color of the leaf plate, the color of the stems, stamens and sepals.
Th. ichangense ‘Evening Star’ looks very exotic thanks to the unusual color of the leaves-silver” stars ” of veins on an olive, copper and brown background, over which soft lavender fluffy flowers hover. The plant does not exceed 25-30 cm in height and width. After flowering, which occurs at the end of spring, it is recommended to prune the faded inflorescences, after which you can expect a re-dissolution of the flowers.
This variety feels great in the sliding penumbra, but puts up with a fairly dense shade (the northern side of buildings, the shadow from the crowns of rocks with large leaves). Such an unusual specimen should have support in the composition in the face of the same silvery or reddish‑brown eccentric individuals-decorative leaf forms Athyrium niponicum, Brunnera macrophylla, Pulmonaria longifolia.
Varieties of Thalictrum are both compact (‘Dwarf Purple’ — up to 45 cm high, the flowers are pinkish-purple), and strong-growing (‘Anne’ up to 2.5 m high, with purple stems, blue-green leaves and purple-pink buds, when opened, turning into white sepals and cream stamens and pistils).
Varieties, the parent of which is Th. delavayi, are very diverse. ‘Hewitt’s Double’ – with a double row of sepals and, accordingly, “double” flowers. White-flowered ‘Splendide White’ (Th. delavayi var. mucronatum) – with pointed raised bluish “petals” (sepals). Dark purple stems of’ Elin ‘ exceed 2 m, pale lilac sepals frame creamy yellow stamens. The variety Th. delavayi var. decorum has purple flowers, the height of the plant is up to 1.5 m, the leaves are blue-green.
The variety ‘Black Stockings’ has a dark purple color of the stems. To match it-Anthriscus sylvestris ‘ Ravenswing’, whose stems are equally rich in color, and inflorescences are even lighter. However, in my opinion, the charm of this variety is best shown either against the background of light buildings, or against the background of juicy green conifers (Thuja occidentalis, Picea glauca, etc.).
The stems of Th. minus are uniformly leafy, due to which it forms a spot of medium density about 1 m high. Its flowers slightly rise above the leaves, small and nondescript, yellowish-green. There are varieties with more expressive flowers (purple), as well as deciduous-decorative, such as ‘Adiantifolium’, whose carved leaves really resemble the adianthum fern.
Th. flavum has a variety of ‘Tukker Princess’, characterized by a larger growth and a brighter color of the stamens than the species itself. Subspecies (Th. flavum subsp. glaucum) is characterized by extremely decorative foliage of a silvery-bluish color, over which clouds of yellow fluffy flowers hover in the first half of summer.