Filipendula palmata

Anyone who has spotted our native meadowsweet (perhaps from a punt on a hot summer’s day) revelling in the boggy land beside a stream will appreciate this larger and finer species from Siberia and Japan.

Filipendula palmata is a hardy herbaceous perennial with flower stems rising to 4 feet (1.2 m) from clumps of handsome dark green, five-lobed leaves. These stems are topped in mid-summer with flat, feathery heads of tiny pink flowers which fade to white. It needs rich, moist soil, with or without lime, and associates well with water-loving irises, such as /. laevigata, or, if there is space, with trees and shrubs of the waterside, such as dogwoods and willows. A similar plant, with flowers of a deep cherry pink on crimson stems, is F. purpurea, which also has a white-flowered form, ‘Alba’.

Plant 2 feet (60 cm) apart beside a stream, a natural pond, or a garden pool with water overlapping the margins.

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