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Regional Picks: Plants for Dry Shade – Mountain West

Fine Gardening – Issue 158

‘Black Stockings’ meadow rue

Name: Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Size: Up to 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Conditions: Partial shade; well-drained soil

I positively had to have ‘Black Stockings’ meadow rue the minute I laid eyes on it. Its long, silky, dark, sexy stems and big, fluffy clouds of purple blossoms make it a shade-garden rock star. The feathery foliage pairs especially well with a backdrop of silver-leaved brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla cvs., Zones 3–7), any large-leaved hostas (Hosta spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9), or painted ferns (Athyrium niponicum cvs., Zones 5–8). My plants are shaded from noon on and do well with minimal water. ‘Black Stockings’ is statuesque and has big heads of flowers, so you may want to discreetly stake it.

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