Angela Lambert
17th April 2013

In praise of Meadowsweet

meadowsweet Filipendula ulmariaI'm so pleased to see that Meadowsweet has finally germinated in the small area of meadowmat at the bottom of my garden. Some wildflowers are quite slow to start off from seed and this is certainly no exception. My meadowmat was laid two years ago and although I'm pleased with the biodiversity it's brought to the garden there are a couple of species in the seed mix that are not yet obvious in the mat.

I suspect that the wet weather last year has helped, Meadowsweet is often found growing alongside rivers or in damp pastures where it creates great swathes of sweet smelling creamy white flowers. I wish I could waft the scent through the computer to you because it really is devine. Tudor noble folk used to spread this plant on the floor of their homes as a kind of air freshener.

One would expect the common name for this plant to refer to its scent. In fact Meadowsweet is a corruption the Anglo saxon  of mede -sweete who used the plants to flavour their mead.

In the middle ages, an infusion of Meadowsweet was used to ease pain, calm fevers and induce sweating and guess what.....its sap contains chemicals that are similar to aspirin. Once again the meadow becomes a medicine cabinet.

 I'm just looking forward to June which is when the flowers start to bloom.