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FILIPENDULA vulgaris

Image of Filipendula vulgaris

James H. Schutte

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

FILIPENDULA vulgaris

Plant Common Name

Dropwort

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Fern-like foliage, puffy flumes of white summertime flowers and a tolerance for drier, more alkaline soils sets dropwort apart from other members of Filipendula. A clump-forming herbaceous perennial, it is native to a large expanse of Europe eastward to northern and central Asia. Variable in habit, the former name of Filipendula hexapetala is now included within this species, even though the former usually was much shorter in mature height. Plants grow from swollen, tuberous rhizomes (underground stems).

The long leaves are glossy deep green and resemble those of a fern, having many small leaflets on the petiole stem. In early to midsummer, an upright branching stem bears loose clusters of tiny white flowers. Sometimes the white petals have flecks of red, making the overall flower cluster look light pink. Bees and butterflies frequent the blooms, and the tan seeds resemble feathery clouds once ripe and dry. It will self-sow nearby, especially effectively if the tall flower stems flop from their weight and ripen atop the ground.

Grow dropwort in full to partial sun in a fertile, moist but well-draining soil that is not acidic. Moisture is best for lushest growth, but this species is much more tolerant of average to slightly drier and alkaline soils than others. In hot summer regions, partial sun or dappled light shade is recommended. Use it within the cutting, cottage or mixed perennial border or in the slightly drier areas of a wildflower meadow. The long stems make handsome cutflowers. Selection 'Multiplex' (also named 'Flore Pleno' or 'Plena') has bronzy buds and double (extra petaled) flowers for a fluffier look while in bloom.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    16"-30" / 40.6cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    12"-20" / 30.5cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Asia, Central Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes