Dropwort (Filipendula vulgaris) is somtimes knownas Fern-leaf Dropwort and is a member of the Rose Family (Rosaceae). It can reach a height of 50 cm on a rigid stem that produces 1 – 3 leaves. The flower itself is a cream / white colour with a slightly reddish tint. The flower can be between 10 – 15 mm broad with around 5 – 6 petals per flower which are 6 – 8 mm in length.
The leaves form a rosette on the ground with leaves alternating u the stem. These leaves often produce small stalks or can be stalkless, the leaflets are largely toothed with shallow lobe.
Dropwort grows starchy tubers at the end of the slim roots, this helps the plant to spread and also store water for when there are dry spells. These roots where often used by the Vikings as food, domestic pigs also like to sniff out these roots and eat them.
Although these roots help the plant to spread, it also relies on its seeds, the main pollinators of this plant are files and honey bees.
This plant is sometimes confused with its larger relative, Meadowsweet, to help identify the different plants, Dropwort’s leaves are in a basal rosette and has many more leaves, as well as Dropwort has almost no fragrance where as Meadowsweet has a strong fragrance.
Height: 60 -90cm
Flowering Time: May to Aug
Preferred Conditions: Limestone heathers or chalky conditions.