Filipendula ulmaria, commonly known as meadowsweet or mead wort, is a perennial herb in the family Rosaceae that grows in damp meadows. It is native throughout most of Europe and Western Asia.
Meadowsweet has also been referred to as queen of the meadow, pride of the meadow, meadow-wort, meadow queen, lady of the meadow, dollof, meadsweet, and bridewort.
Culinary & Medical Uses:
The whole herb possesses a pleasant taste and flavor, the green parts having a similar aromatic character to the flowers, leading to the use of the plant as a strewing herb, strewn on floors to give the rooms a pleasant aroma, and its use to flavour wine, beer, and many vinegars. The flowers can be added to stewed fruit and jams, giving them a subtle almond flavor.
It has many medicinal properties. The whole plant is a traditional remedy for an acidic stomach, and the fresh root is often used homeopathic preparations. Dried, the flowers are used in potpourri. It is also a frequently used spice in Scandinavian varieties of mead. A tea made from Filipendula ulmaria flowers or leaves has been used in traditional Austrian herbal medicine for the treatment of rheumatism, gout, infections, and fever.
How to grow Meadowsweet:
Meadowsweet seeds often go dormant and must be cold stratified in a refrigerator for roughly three months before sowing to break their dormancy and promote germination. The seeds require light to germinate, so they perform best when surface sown. Scatter two or three seeds across the surface of the medium with approximately 1 inch of space between them. The seeds must be lightly pressed onto the surface so they are firmly anchored to the soil. A thin layer of medium-grade perlite spread over the soil surface allows light to reach the seeds while still holding moisture around them. Mist the perlite with water so it settles onto the seeds.
The germination process is fairly straightforward for meadowsweet seeds, although it is somewhat slow. In temperate climates where frosts are rare, the pots can be kept outdoors in a bright, sheltered location from sowing time until the seeds sprout in spring. The most important factor apart from light exposure is moisture because the seeds may die or germinate poorly if kept too wet or too dry. Probe the medium with your fingertip every day to gauge the moisture level. Using a spray bottle, moisten the top 2 inches of the medium. Don’t let the medium dry out completely on the surface, but avoid making it sopping wet. Meadowsweet seeds germinate within three months in spring when daytime temperatures top 70 degrees.
Meadowsweet plants form dense, spreading clumps, so they must be provided with adequate room to grow. Remove all but the strongest seedling from each pot so it can produce a robust network of roots. Provide light shade and regular, deep waterings during the summer months to prevent heat stress, then slowly acclimate the plant to direct sun in early autumn approximately two weeks before planting them.
Meadowsweet plants perform best when planted in consistently moist, mildly alkaline soil, so amend the soil with limestone to increase its pH, if the soil is highly acidic.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.