Filipendula 

(fill-i-pen' du-lah)

Common name: Meadowsweet, Queen-of-the-Meadow, False Spirea

Family: Rosaceae, Rose

Height x width: 2-8' x 2-4' (varies with species)

Growth rate, habit: moderate; upright, spreading clumps

Foliage: alternate, 4-8" long, pinnately compound with 7-9 leaflets, crinkled texture, white tomentose below; some species with sessile, long narrow leaves

Flowers: numerous small flowers in panicles with 5-6 petals per flowers, white to pink, early to mid-summer

(photo courtesy Todd Weinmann, ext.nodak.edu)

Hardiness: zones 3-8 or 9

Soil: moist, well-drained, organic; vulgaris tolerates dry, rubra and ulmaria tolerate soggy; alkaline pH 7.0-7.5 prefered

Light: sun, tolerates part shade

Pests and problems: powdery mildew (uncommon), Japanese beetles

Landscape habit, uses: borders, natural or native areas, fine texture effect, streamsides and bogs

Other interest: native to Europe; name from Latin filum or thread and pendulus or drooping refering to root tubers of some species hanging together by threads; used by herbalists as an infusion to alleviate pain, salicylic acid (main ingredient of aspirin) was first derived from ulmaria flowers in 1839; used in middle ages to flavor fermented honey.

Other culture: performs best in cool climates, but tolerates hot climates given adequate moisture and shade

Propagation: division (requires a sharp knife for the tough roots), seedlings self sown, purchased seed (often hard to find, may require warm-cold stratification)

Species:

hexapetala:vulgaris

kamtschatica (kam-schah' ti-cah)--Manchurian Meadowsweet, zones 3-8, 6-9' tall, white to pale pink flowers late summer, 12" wide dark green sharply toothed leaves, native to Manchuria and Kamchatka to Japan

palmata (pal-maa' tah)--Siberian Meadowsweet, zones 3-7, 3-4' tall, pink flowers, native to Siberia, wide palmately divided leaves

purpurea (pur-pur' ee-ah)--Japanese Meadowsweet, zones 6-8, 3-4', deep pink flowers and red stems, long pointed serrated leaflets, native to Japan

rubra (rue' brah)--Queen-of-the-Prairie, 6-8' tall, zones 3-7, pink flowers in summer, native to the central U.S., usually doesn't require staking

ulmaria (ul-mar' ee-ah)--Queen-of-the-Meadow, 3-6' tall, zones 3-7, white flowers in summer, native to Asia and Europe, whitish leaves hairy below

vulgaris (vul-gair' iss)--Dropwort Meadowsweet, 2-3' tall, zones 3-7, white flowers in summer, native to Europe, flattened inflorescences often tinged pink, shiny green divided leaves give fern appearance, good groundcover
 
 

Cultivars:
 
Cultivars species flowers other
'Alba' palmata white  
'Albicans' rubra white, early 5-6' tall
'Aurea' ulmaria white, not showy golden foliage
'Digitata Nana':'Nana' palmata    
'Elegans':'Elegantissima'      
'Elegantissima' palmata white, red stamens compact
'Flore Pleno' ulmaria white, double, showy  
'Flore Pleno' vulgaris white, double 1-2' tall
'Grandiflora' vulgaris white, large  
'Nana' palmata pink 8-10" tall
'Rosea' palmata pink  
'Rosea' vulgaris light pink  
'Rubra' palmata dark reddish  
'Variegata' ulmaria white central yellow leaf stripe
'Venusta' rubra deep pink to red common


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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