It’s easy to love the woodland spring ephemeral flowers – the Bluebells, Bloodroots, Bluets, and Trilliums. But what about plants that persist in the shade after the ephemerals are gone?
One option worth considering is Early Meadowrue (Thalictrum dioicum). We have just one of these, which I plunked onto a tree-stump planter. It was kind of a random purchase, but I’ve grown to increasingly appreciate it.
Early Meadowrue blooms in spring but the foliage stays put all year. A roughly 2′ tall mound, it’s a useful size for the woodland garden.
The flowers are perhaps not beautiful but they are interesting, and worth a closer look. The male flowers have dangling yellow-green stamens (male and female flowers are on separate plants). I’ve read that the stamens can also be more purple, but haven’t seen that myself.
The foliage is attractive, I think. Some people call it ferny but it reminds me of Columbine or maybe just green dots with its little leaflets.
Anyhow, an alternative or companion to Ferns or Wild Ginger that’s worth considering.