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Meadowsweet flower

Filipendula ulmaria (Rosaceae)

Habitat and appearance: As a native to Asia and Europe it will be a familiar sight to country dwellers in Britain, lining river and stream banks. It is an attractive perennial herb, 70-125cm, with strong, aromatic root stock and erect reddish stems. It has alternate, acute, ovate leaves which are irregularly pinnate with 2 to 5 pairs of leaflets. These are tomentose (furred) on the underside and whitish-green on top. From the main stem arise glabrous stems, producing irregular paniculate cymes which bear sweet smelling flowers. These are small and very dainty, being creamy-white and 5-petalled with numerous long stamens. It has two flowering sessions, mid-summer and autumn, the two often running into each other.

Garden suitability: It must have wet and moist conditions. It does very well with moisture and a little shade. This plant is really worth growing for its very pretty flowers and long season. Easily propagated by root division, spring or autumn, but tough to dig it up!

 

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