Meadowrue has aquilegia-like foliage and produces large, frothy clusters of small flowers. Colours include white, yellow, pink, mauve and purple.
There are around 130 species, ranging from four metres (13 feet) to just 15 centimetres (6 inches) in height. They are native to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, where they grow in moist, shady places, in meadows and at river- or streamsides.
Many varieties are happy in sun or part-shade, with a humus-rich, but free-draining soil. Most will not tolerate waterlogging and the taller forms may need staking.