Habit: Thalictrum occidentale is a dioecious (male and female flowers on different plants) plant with leafy, branched, erect stems. Young stems are purplish turning more green with age as they unfurl. Leaves are ternately (divided into threes) compound, with round, three-lobed leaflets largely toothed. Male flowers are pendulant having many long stamen with purple anthers dangling below green sepals, female flowers are in a more upright, open panicle of crowded flower clusters, the most visible part being the pistil, which is bright red. Flowering early to mid summer, June-August.
Ecology: found in moist shaded forests up to 650 ft (200 m), in open coniferous forests, and meadows from Southern Alaska to Northern California and east into Wyoming.
Growing Conditions: full to partial shade in moist soil, tolerates seasonal flooding.
Although Thalictrum occidentale is smaller and more graceful than T. polycarpum, it is hardier.