A risqué name for what is, admittedly, a seductive plant. Thalictrums -- the Meadow Rues -- are elegantly long-legged plants, and Thalictrum 'Black Stockings' emphasizes its height with dark, almost ebony stems that complement perfectly the ferny foliage and airy, flat-topped clusters of delicate, lavender flowers that appear in late spring or early summer. A distinguished presence for the back of a border or the edge of a woodland clearing. Thalictrums prefer a moist soil but will perform well in an ordinary garden bed well enriched with organic matter. Full sun or partial shade -- mulch well in hot southern regions.
This genus in the amazingly diverse Buttercup family includes some 130 species, most of them northerners. The form of the flower varies from species to species, but all are small and delicate and are generally carried on tall, slender stems that produce a delightful, airy effect. Partial shade and rich soil give best results, but plants will take more sun if the soil remains evenly moist.