Filipendula ulmaria 'Variegata'
Common Name: meadowsweet
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers consistently moist, fertile, humusy soils. Intolerant of drought. Appreciates part shade in hot climates. Variegated foliage may scorch in full sun, particularly if soils are allowed to dry. Propagate by dividing clumps in spring. Although this plant freely self-seeds, foliage variegation of the new plants may not come true, so prompt deadheading of spent flower plumes is generally advisable. With sufficient moisture, foliage may remain attractive throughout the growing season. If foliage depreciates in summer, cut back hard to promote new growth.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This meadowsweet or queen of the meadow cultivar primarily differs from the species by having variegated leaves (hence the cultivar name) and more compact growth. It is an upright, clump-forming perennial that typically grows 2-4' tall and features branched, terminal, astilbe-like, 4-6" long panicles (corymbs) of tiny, fragrant, creamy white flowers in early to mid summer. Compound-pinnate, bright green leaves (7-9 lance-shaped leaflets each) are variegated with pale yellow stripes or blotches. A good foliage plant that is valued as much for its leaves as it is for its flowers.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Borders (rear), cottage gardens, wild/naturalized areas, wet meadows or moist areas along streams or ponds.