Thalictrum cooleyi

Common Names:
Cooley's meadowrue
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
North Carolina Botanical Garden

The conservation of Thalictrum cooleyi is fully sponsored.


Cooley's meadowrue is endemic to the coastal plain in the southeastern United States. This plant occurs in fire-dependent web bogs and savannas. The main causes for the decline of the species can be attributed to fire suppression and loss of habitat due to agricultural/silvicultural practices. Only eleven populations of this plant remain, scattered in four counties in North Carolina and one county in Florida. The single population in Florida was severely impacted by commercial timber operations, with only nine plants remaining, and one population in North Carolina was covered with fill material during road maintenance operations. While this species does indeed need some level of disturbance, it can not survive extreme habitat alterations such as bulldozing, plowing for agriculture/silviculture, or direct application of herbicides. (USFWS 1990)

This rhizomatous, perennial herb can grow to heights of 1 meter or more when it flowers in late June and early July. It is dioecious, meaning that male and female flowers are not on the same plant. In fact, this is contributing to the plant's rarity, because most of the remaining populations have a 3 to 1 ratio of male to female plants, leading to reproductive and genetic problems. An extreme instance in in one site in North Carolina, where no male plants had been found at the site in 8 years (Leonard 1987). (USFWS 1990)

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research