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Filipendula ulmaria

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Fens, gardens, hedgerows, marshes, meadows, swamps, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Creamy-white flowers in fluffy clusters, having many stamens. 5 petals and 5 sepals.
A green, linear and flattened, twisted seed, up to 6mm long. Turns brown with age. Not hairy.
Pinnate leaves which are mostly alternate along the stems. Each leaf has between 5 and 9 leaflets. The terminal leaflet is the largest of them all - it has 3 to 5 deep lobes. All leaflets have double-serrated margins and pointed tips. The upper surfaces of the leaves are smooth and hairless. The undersides of the leaves are pale and is densely hairy but the hairs are very short. The leaves have stipules, up to about 1cm in length.
The flowers are fragrant, smelling of marzipan.
Other Names:
Bridewort, Double Lady of the Meadow, European Meadowsweet, Mead Wort, Queen-of-the-meadow.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Filipendula ulmaria, commonly known as meadowsweet or queen of the meadow, is a perennial herb in the Rosaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia. It typically grows to a height of 1-2 meters and has feathery leaves and large clusters of small white or pink flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant prefers moist, well-drained soils and partial shade to full sun. It is often used in gardens as an ornamental plant for its attractive foliage and flowers. It can also be used medicinally and traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, as well as to treat a variety of other ailments. It can be propagated by dividing the rhizomes or by seed.


Meadowsweet, also known as Filipendula ulmaria, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Rosaceae family, which includes other well-known plants such as strawberries, raspberries, and roses. Meadowsweet is a popular plant in herbal medicine and has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. In this blog post, we will explore the many benefits of meadowsweet.

The first thing to note about meadowsweet is its beautiful appearance. It has feathery, bright green leaves that are deeply serrated and grow in a bushy mound. In the summer, it produces delicate, creamy white flowers that have a sweet fragrance and attract bees and butterflies. It typically grows to be about 4 to 6 feet tall and is a wonderful addition to any garden.

But meadowsweet is more than just a pretty plant. It has many medicinal properties that have been known for centuries. The plant contains salicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in aspirin. This makes meadowsweet an effective pain reliever, especially for headaches and joint pain. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to reduce inflammation in the body.

Meadowsweet is also a diuretic, which means it helps to increase urine flow and eliminate excess fluids from the body. This can be beneficial for those who suffer from edema or water retention. Additionally, meadowsweet has been used to treat digestive issues such as stomach ulcers, heartburn, and diarrhea. It can also be used as a natural remedy for respiratory infections, such as colds and flu.

One of the most interesting uses of meadowsweet is as a natural skin care ingredient. The plant contains tannins, which are astringent compounds that can help to tighten and tone the skin. It also contains antioxidants, which can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Meadowsweet can be used to make a variety of skin care products, such as toners, serums, and creams.

In addition to its medicinal and skincare benefits, meadowsweet also has a long history of culinary use. The plant has a sweet, almond-like fragrance, which makes it a popular flavoring in beverages and desserts. The flowers and leaves can be used to make a tea or infused into honey, syrups, and vinegars. It can also be added to jams, jellies, and baked goods.

Meadowsweet has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Celts all used meadowsweet to treat various ailments. In the Middle Ages, it was considered one of the most important medicinal plants, and was commonly used to treat fevers, joint pain, and digestive issues. It was also used as a strewing herb, to freshen up the air in homes and keep insects at bay.

It's important to note that while meadowsweet is generally safe, it can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using any new herb or supplement.

Meadowsweet is a plant that is relatively easy to grow and maintain, making it a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. It prefers moist soil and partial shade, but can also tolerate full sun. It can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, and can be divided every few years to promote healthy growth.

Aside from its many uses, meadowsweet also has a rich cultural history. It was once considered a sacred plant by the Druids, who used it in their rituals and ceremonies. It was also a symbol of love and happiness in ancient folklore, and was believed to bring good luck to newlyweds.

Today, meadowsweet is still used in traditional medicine and is gaining popularity as a natural alternative to synthetic painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. It has also become a popular ingredient in natural and organic skincare products, due to its astringent and antioxidant properties.

In summary, meadowsweet is a versatile and fascinating plant that has been valued for its medicinal, culinary, and cultural properties for centuries.

Facts about Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet, also known as Filipendula ulmaria, is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae). Here are some facts about Meadowsweet:

  1. Meadowsweet is native to Europe and Western Asia but can now be found growing in other parts of the world, including North America.

  2. The plant can grow up to 4 feet tall and has a cluster of small, creamy-white flowers that bloom in the summer.

  3. The leaves of Meadowsweet are fern-like and have a pleasant, sweet fragrance that is similar to that of almonds.

  4. Meadowsweet has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and its active compounds include salicylic acid, flavonoids, and tannins.

  5. The plant has been traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, inflammation, and pain relief, and is also used in herbal teas and as a flavoring in some alcoholic beverages.

  6. Meadowsweet was also used as a strewing herb in medieval times to mask unpleasant odors.

  7. The plant is often grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and can be used as a cut flower.

  8. Meadowsweet is also an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

  9. In folklore, Meadowsweet was associated with love and romance and was used in love spells and potions.

  10. The name Meadowsweet is thought to derive from the plant's use as a flavoring for mead, an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey.


Meadowsweet filmed in Lytham St. Anne's on the 12th June 2023 and Capernwray on the 15th and 16th June 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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