Filipendula

Filipendula flowers

A family of vigorous, hardy perennials with attractive deeply lobbed or fern-like foliage. Requires a rich moisture retentive soil to thrive but will tolerate drier soils in more shaded situations.

Family: Rosaceae
Botanical Name: Filipendula (fi-li-pen-dew-la)
Common Names: Dropwort, meadowsweet, honey-sweet lady of the meadow, meadow queen, sweet bay, mead wort.

Foliage: Deciduous, pinnately divided, toothed green leaves.

Flowers: Tall leafy stems bearing terminal clusters of small flowers, in shades of rosy-pink or white.

Flowering Period: Summer.

Soil: Moist but well-drained, or poorly-drained soil (clay or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in any aspect.

Habit: Upright, clump forming.

Type: Rhizomatous perennial.

Origin: Europe, Asia

Hardiness: Fully hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Filipendula

A vigorous, easy to grow perennial. Thrives in fertile, humus-rich and moisture retentive soil, in full sun or partial shade. Incorporate plenty of organic matter into the soil during planting.

Ideal for wet and boggy areas of the garden, such as beside a stream or pond.

Taking Care of Filipendula

Keep soil moist, especially during dry weather. Apply a mulch in May.

Pruning Filipendula

Cut the stems down in autumn.

Pests and Diseases

Can be affected by powdery mildews.

Propagating Filipendula

Sow seed under glass in spring or divided established clumps from mid autumn.

Popular Varieties of Filipendula

Some varieties are grown just for their foliage and others for their flowers.



Filipendula hexapetala (dropwort) (syn. F. vulgaris) bears pink-tinted flowers above finely divided foliage in early to mid summer. Height up to 3ft (90cm), spacing 2ft (60cm). Variety 'Flore Pleno' is an excellent double-flowered form.

Filipendula rubra (queen-of-the-prairie) has three lobbed leaves and bears massed fluffy heads of tiny pink flowers in summer. Ideal for the woodland garden. Height 4-6ft. Cultivar 'Venusta' is an excellent variety with deep rose-pink flowers.

Filipendula ulmaria (meadowsweet) has deeply veined, toothed green leaves on arching reddish stems. Frothy sprays of creamy-white flowers in summer. Height to 3ft (90cm). For sale at Crocus. Cultivar 'Aurea' (Golden Meadow Sweet) has attractive yellowish foliage.