Filipendula ulmaria | Meadowsweet | Airgead luachra



Native status


Species Biology


  • Flowers from June to September
  • Tall, hairless plant (60-120cm tall)
  • Numerous 5-6 petalled white flowers in dense, clusters on furrowed, reddish stems. 
  • Leaves are pinnate, dark green above, white and downy beneath
  • Strongly smelling plant. The leaves have an almond-like aroma whereas the flowers have a strong sweet smell

Take care not to confuse with Dropwort which is only found in Counties Clare and Galway. It is smaller than Meadowsweet and has leaves with numerous small leaflets that are not white on the underside. Dropwort has fewer, slightly larger white flowers that are tinged with red and have 6 petals.


Damp roadsides, fields, watersides, marshes


World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.

How can you help

This species is included in our early summer flowering plants project. If you see the species please submit your sighting. All information is very valuable.

Full list of species included in the early summer flowering plants project:

  1. Ragged Robin (Silene flos-cuculi)
  2. Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)
  3. Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum)
  4. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
  5. Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
  6. Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)
  7. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
  8. Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)
  9. Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris)
  10. Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)
  11. Silverweed (Potentilla anserine)
  12. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Further information

This species is included in the early summer flowering plants project which is a collaboration between the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the BSBI. It is hoped we can collect valuable data to improve our knowledge of the current distribution of some common plants. All data will be fully validated by both partners before loading to Biodiversity Maps and being made available to the BSBI.