Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©1796 - Jacob Sturm
Click any photo for a larger image
Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2001 - Sten Porse
License CC-BY 3.0

Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria
Family - Rosaceae
Also known as - Meadwort, Queen of the Meadow, Bridewort

A perennial herb growing in damp meadows and boggy areas, native throughout Europe and Western Asia, an introduced plant in North America.  Flower stems are 1-2M (3-7ft) tall, erect and furrowed, reddish to sometimes purple.  Pinnate leaves have a dark-green upper and whitish and downy underneath, having a few large serrate leaflets and small intermediate ones.  Terminal leaflets are large, 4-8cm (1.6-3.2in) long, and 3-5 lobed.  The leaves can be affected by the Bright Orange rust fungus - Triphragmium ulmariae, which creates galls on the stalk or midrib.  Hermaphroditic creamy-white flowers from June to early September superficially similar to Yarrow clustered close together in handsome irregularly-branched cymes, with a strong sweet smell.  pollinated by bees, flies and beetles, the plant is self-fertile and good for attracting wildlife.  Dyes can be extracted from Meadowsweet, black from the roots and yellow from the plant tops

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria is eaten or used as an herbal remedy.   The whole herb possesses a pleasant taste and flavour, used to flavour wine, beer, and many vinegars.  It can be added to stewed fruit and jams, giving them a subtle almond flavor.  Some Scandinavian varieties of mead use Meadowsweet for flavouring.  Dried flowers are used in pot-pourri.  Meadowsweet has many medicinal properties with a long history of herbal use including anti-inflammatory, aromatic, diuretic, antiseptic and tonic.  Chemical constituents include salicylic acid, essential oils, and tannins.  In 1897, Felix Hoffmann derived a synthetic version of salicin, the drug was called Aspirin.

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