Meadowsweet | More About The Herb

In the medieval times, meadowsweet was a very popular stewing herb. Meadowsweet forms a basal clump of pinnate leaves, and bears dense, frothy, tall corymbs of almond scented, creamy white flowers to 1.2m in summer. The leaves smell like wintergreen when crushed. The plant occurs in moist meadows and around freshwater and is widely distributed across Asia and Europe.

Hardy meadowsweet will grow in full sun provided the soil is very moist. It prefers a well enriched alkaline soil. Propagate the species by seed in autumn, or by stratified seed and plant in spring, or by division in spring. Every 3 to 4 years lift and divide in autumn.

Cut the flowers when in full bloom and use fresh for culinary use. The flowers are used to flavour jams, stewed fruits and wine, as well as mead and Norfolk Punch.

Blackberry Mead

Filipendula ulmaria was originally grown purely for household use. Traditionally it was thrown on floors to create a pleasant aroma. It was a favourite herb of Queen Elizabeth 1 who had the herb strewn over the floors of her palaces. When walked on, the fragrance was released.

Information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs and The Essential Aromatherapy Garden.

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