Meadowsweet is a large herbaceous perennial plant with a reddish stalk and small shoots between its leaves. It can grow up to 120 cm high. The large cream-white scented flower clusters bloom impressively from June to August.
Meadowsweet occurs in wet and nutrient-rich habitats, in meadows, lakesides, groves, fens and near streams and springs. Its range extends to the whole of Europe.
Meadowsweet is a highly prized and versatile medicinal plant. Tea made from its sweet flowers lifts the mood, combats infections and increases metabolism. Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid used in aspirin and has therefore been used in the past to treat aches and fever. Its strongly fragrant blooms have been used to scent homes. Used in a wedding bouquet, the meadowsweet is believed to bring happiness to couples.
Meadowsweet is called the "queen of the meadow," not only because of its magnificent appearance, but also because it quickly conquers moist habitats that support its growth. Very few plants can thrive under the meadowsweet blanket, because it lets through so little space and light.
The species has benefitted greatly from human activity and it easily occupies open areas and ditches for itself. As a basic species of our forests it does not need conservation measures or species-specific management to thrive.
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