Fairly common and usually found growing in clumps, it can often be smelled before being seen.
|Meadowsweet, Meadsweet, Mead Wort
Dark green on the upper surface and whitish and downy underneath. The leaves have serrated edges and the terminal leaflets are three to five lobed with smaller leaflets growing behind these.
The smell and the leaves on this plant are very distinctive so it would be hard to confuse it with another plant.
Very sweet with a ‘Germolene’/ hospital smell.
Medicinal and unpleasant but some people seem to like the taste.
The flowers can be collected and used to make fritters or even an elderflower champagne like drink but as I mentioned I don’t like the taste.
The plant contains salicylic acid which was synthesized in 1897 by Felix Hoffmann for the Bayer pharmaceutical company into acetylsalicylic acid which was called Aspirin. Aspirin is more gentle on the stomach than salicylic acid and has different medical effects.
Meadow sweet used to be used to sweeten and flavour wines, beer and mead.
It was also used on floors and bedding many years ago to help mask household smells.