Thalictrum flavum, known by the common names common meadow-rue, and yellow meadow-rue, is a flowering plant species in the family Ranunculaceae. It is a native to Caucasus and Russia (Siberia). Growing to 100 cm (39 in) tall by 45 cm (18 in) broad, it is an herbaceous perennial producing clusters of fluffy yellow fragrant flowers in summer.
Thalictrum flavum has fibrous roots, and has wedge-shaped, dark green leaves, with a paler green underneath, they are divided into multiple sections. It blooms between June and August. The flowers are composed of short sepals and longer, erect stamens. The sepals are actually white, but the multiple erect, yellow stamens, give the flower a yellow appearance. Later, three fruits are formed from each flower head.
The plant contains an enzyme called pavine N-methyltransferase, which modifies a variety of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids including the eponymous alkaloid pavine. Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids like pavine often have a variety of pharmacological actions, and as a result some have medical uses such as analgesic or anticancer effects while others have significant toxicity. T. flavum also contains another benzylisoquinoline alkaloid, thalidezine, which is also present in other Thalictrum species.
The common name 'meadow rue' is thought to have derived from 'meadow rhubarb'.
Distribution and habitat
It is found in Northern Africa within Algeria. In Europe, it is found in (Eastern Europe) Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, (Middle Europe), Austria; Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, (northern Europe) Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, (southeastern Europe) Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, (southwestern Europe) France and Spain. In Asia, it is found in the Caucasus, (within Azerbaijan and Georgia) Russian Federation, (within Amur and Primorye), China, (Xinjiang,) Kazakhstan, Siberia and Turkey.
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