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Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

Fairly common and usually found growing in clumps, it can often be 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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.

Medicinal Uses

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.

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.


3 comments for Meadowsweet

  1. Judi says:

    So happy I found this site! Any info on feverfew?
    Back in the 70s it grew prolifically in backyards in the UK.
    My mother used it for many things, especially rheumatic pains.
    Now that everyone seemed to have hardscaped their yards, I seldom see it.

    1. Poppy Ives says:

      Apparently Feverfew can help prevent Migranes. We have loads of it in our garden here 🙂

      1. Janey H says:

        Many years ago I bought a tiny feverfew plant from a local nursery here in east Anglia and it has since self seeded and made itself very much at home in my garden. It is happiest in a bit of shade and flowers for months and months on plants of up to 60 x 60 cm.

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