Filipendula vulgaris
Common Name: dropwort 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Europe, north and central Asia
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, 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, but tolerates dry soils, and is more drought tolerant than other species of Filipendula. Prefers soils that are neutral to slightly alkaline. Propagate by dividing clumps in spring. Plants will freely self-seed. 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 vulgaris, commonly called dropwort, is an upright, clump-forming perennial that typically grows to 2-3' tall. It is native to dry limestone grasslands in Europe and Asia. Compound-pinnate, finely-divided, dark green leaves (4-10" long) contain many pairs of leaflets (to 1" long). Plant leaves primarily appear in basal rosettes, typically forming a mound of foliage to 12" tall. Foliage has a carrot-like or fern-like appearance. Tiny, fragrant, creamy white flowers bloom in late spring to early summer in branched, astilbe-like, terminal panicles (corymbs) that rise well above the foliage mound to 2-3' tall atop sparsely leaved stems. Plants have tuberous spreading rootstocks. Filipendula hexapetala is now included within Filipendula vulgaris.

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 common.


No serious insect or disease problems. Plants are susceptible to powdery mildew.


Borders, cottage gardens, wild/naturalized areas. Foliage forms a ferny ground cover.