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FILIPENDULA ulmaria

Image of Filipendula ulmaria

Jessie Keith

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

FILIPENDULA ulmaria

Plant Common Name

Meadowsweet, Queen-of-the-Meadow

General Description

Clusters of airy white flowers appear on this common Asian and European bog plant in summer. Meadowsweet is a hardy perennial that produces clumps of coarse, compound leaves during the growing months. Though adapted to boggy soils, it also grows well in partially shaded gardens with rich loam.

Dense clumps of coarsely toothed compound leaves are produced in spring. These have prominent dark veins and and are supported by stems that may be pink, beige or green, depending on natural variation. In midsummer, tall, sturdy branched floral stems rise above the foliage. These bear sprays of round pearl-like buds that open to a froth of small, white, five-petaled flowers with a central brush of white stamens. The fluffy blooms are primarily pollinated by bees but they also attract butterflies. The spent flowers turn brown and should be removed to keep the foliage looking attractive.

Full to partial sun is required for best growth and flowering. Grow Meadowsweet in moist, fertile, organic-rich soil with a neutral to slightly acid pH. It is not drought tolerant, so be sure to supply it with regular water during dry periods. Its spent foliage should be cut back in fall after a couple of hard frosts. This is the best time to divide it too. This perennial wildflower is ideal for naturalistic borders and low, moist garden spots. It looks beautiful when intermingled among meadow grasses.

There are several notable cultivars. The yellow-green foliage of 'Aurea' really stands out in sunny beds and 'Variegata' has rich green leaves with shocks of light yellow down the midveins.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m (3)

  • Width

    2'-2' / 0.6m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes