FILIPENDULA

A small group of old-fashioned plants which used to be included with Spiraea. The leaves areoften fern-like and the stems bear terminal clusters of small flowers. With some varieties the foliage is the main attraction and the flowers are removed – with others the blooms are attractive enough for garden display and indoor decoration. Filipen-dula offers no particular problems – add organic matter to the soil before planting, apply a mulch in May, water in dry weather and cut down the stems in autumn.

VARIETIES: F. ulmaria ‘Aurea’ (Golden Meadow Sweet) is grown for its yellowish foliage – remove flowers as they form. F. hexapetala (Dropwort) is grown for its pink-tinged flowers as well as its ferny foliage – basic details are height 2.5 ft. Spacing 2 ft.

Flowering period: June-July. The small blooms are borne on branching sprays – grow the double-flowered form ‘Flore Pleno’. In the woodland garden grow the pink F. rubra (4-6 ft).

SITE AND SOIL: Any moist garden soil will do – thrives best in light shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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