Filipendula purpurea 'Elegans'
Common Name: meadowsweet 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White with red stamens
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun. Often appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Prefers consistently moist, fertile, humusy soils. Propagate by dividing clumps in spring. With sufficient moisture, foliage may remain attractive throughout the growing season. If foliage depreciates in late summer, cut it back after bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Filipendula purpurea, commonly called meadowsweet or Japanese meadowsweet, is an upright, clump-forming perennial that is native to Japan. Crimson red flowers in branched, astilbe-like terminal panicles (corymbs) bloom in summer atop purple-tinged stems typically rising to 3-4' tall. Palmate, maple-like, rich green leaves (to 4-8" across) are deeply-divided into 5-7 doubly serrate lobes.

Genus name comes from the Latin words filum meaning a thread and pendulus meaning hanging for the root tubers in some species that hang together with threads.

Specific epithet means purple in probable reference to the stems or flowers.

'Elegans' is a more compact version that grows to only 18-24" tall and features white flowers with red stamens (from a distance flowers look pink).


No serious insect or disease problems. Plants are susceptible to powdery mildew, rust and leaf spot.


Borders. Large groupings or mass. Suitable for pond or stream margins.