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Meadowsweet

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

Fairly common and usually found growing in clumps, it can often smelled before being seen.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Meadowsweet, Meadsweet, Mead Wort
Scientific Name Filipendula ulmaria
Season Start Mar
Season End Oct
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

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.

Flowers

Small creamy white flowers in ‘frothy’ looking clusters from early Summer to early Autumn.

Seed Pods

Has distinctive ‘curly’ seed pods that appear in great profusion in late Summer/Autumn

Stem

The leaf stem is red with small leaflets between the larger leaves.

Habitat

Damp Meadows, gardens, wetland, hedgerows and fields.

Possible Confusion

The smell and the leaves on this plant are very distinctive so it would be hard to confuse it with another plant.

Smell

Very sweet with a ‘Germolene’/ hospital smell.

Taste

Medicinal and unpleasant but some people seem to like the taste.

Frequency

Common.

Collecting

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 leaves, stem and roots can all be eaten to provide a painkilling effect like Asprin.

Medicinal Uses

The plant contains salicylic acid which was  synthesized in 1897 by Felix Hoffmann for the Bayer phamaceutical company into acetylsalicilic acid which was called Asprin. Asprin is more gental on the stomach than salicilic acid.

Other Facts

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.

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