Filipendula denudata
Common Name: meadowsweet 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Northern temperate regions
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Erosion


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, but is more drought tolerant than most other species of Filipendula. Prefers soils that are neutral to slightly alkaline. Plants will spread in the landscape by self-seeding and by tuberous spreading rootstocks. Clumps may be divided 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 denudata, commonly called meadowsweet or queen-of-the-meadow, is an upright, clump-forming perennial of the rose family that is native to damp meadows, pond peripheries, bogs and along streams and rivers in Europe and western Asia. It has been introduced into the wild with subsequent naturalization in parts of Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. It typically grows to 3-6’ tall. Foliage mound consists of compound-pinnate, finely-divided, dark green leaves (to 10” long) with elm-like leaflets (to 1” long). Leaves of this species are green (rather than white tomentose) beneath. Tiny, fragrant, 5-6 petaled, creamy white flowers (each to 1/3” wide) bloom from July to September in branched, astilbe-like, terminal panicles (corymbs) that rise above the foliage atop sparsely-leaved reddish stems. Leaves have an almond-like aroma, but flowers have a sweet smell.

Filipendula denudata is synonymous with and formerly known as Filipendula ulmaria subsp. denudata and Spiraea denudata. However, some experts currently assert that F. denudata and F. ulmaria subsp. denudata are in fact synonyms of F. ulmaria, all of which indicates there are some unresolved nomenclature issues here.

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 bare or naked.

Common name of meadowsweet reportedly comes from the Anglo-Saxon word medu in reference to a former use of plant materials to flavor the drink known as mead.


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


Borders, cottage gardens, wild/naturalized areas and meadows. Foliage forms an intersting ground cover.