Herbs & Plants

Filipendula rubra

Botanical Name: Filipendula rubra
Family: Rosaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Filipendula
Species: F. rubra

*Filipendula lobata (Gronov. ex Jacq.) Maxim.
*Spiraea lobata Gronov. ex Jacq.
*Spiraea palmata L.
*Spiraea rubra (Hill) Britton
*Thecanisia angustifolia Raf.
*Thecanisia lobata (Gronov. ex Jacq.) Raf.
*Thecanisia purpurea Raf.
*Ulmaria lobata Kostel. ex Maxim.
*Ulmaria rubra Hill

Common Names: Queen-of-the-prairie, Meadowsweet

Filipendula rubra is native to the northeastern and central United States and southeastern Canada. It prefers full sun or partial shade and moist soil, but tolerates drier soil in a shadier location.

Filipendula rubra is a spreading herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 1.8–2.5 m (5 ft 11 in–8 ft 2 in) tall by 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) wide. With large lobed leaves and branching red stems, it produces corymbs of deep pink or peach, sweet fragrant flowers in the summer. Inflorescences of F. rubra are panicles possessing 200-1,000 small pink-petaled flowers on 1-2m stems can have somewhere to 5,000 seeds. The numerous stamens give the flower a fuzzy appearance.

It grows tall and firm, and produces blooms that are tiny and pink above its ferny, pointy leaves. Each flower has carpels that are free from one another, while also having five to 15 pistils. However, these seeds are small due to the large size of its clones yet when seeds are produced seedlings may fail to establish in large numbers. The plant grows in an aggressive manner with its creeping roots. The foliage texture of the plant is coarse and the color ranges from a medium to dark green.


Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Specimen. Requires a humus-rich moist soil in semi-shade. Succeeds in full sun only if the soil is reliably moist throughout the growing season. Dislikes dry or acid soils. Does well in marshy soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. Although the plants are perfectly hardy in Britain, they appreciate the winter protection of bracken or some similar mulch when grown in areas of prolonged frosts. Plants spread fairly freely and form large clumps. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value. The flowers are very attractive to bees. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Suitable for cut flowers.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is rich in tannin, it is used as an astringent in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, bleeding etc. It has also been used in the treatment of various heart complaints. The plant probably contains salicylic acid, the chemical forerunner of aspirin. This is anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

Other Uses:
The plant is used in gardens for the aesthetically pleasing and fragrant flowers which smell like lilac. A good number of both native and conventional nurseries sell some, yet it is still an uncommon plant in most American gardens and landscapes. ‘Venusta’ is the most common cultivar that bears a good bright rose-pink color. It grows in full sun or part-shade and needs moist to draining wet soil; it suffers from drought. It sends up its sort of maple-like foliage early in spring. It spreads by rhizomes, underground stems, so it becomes a spreading clump that eventually becomes a mass. It is easy to dig up and reset like many perennials when it gets too big and crowded or spreads to much. It does self-sow some to a lot in gardens. If it starts to look poorly from drought, one can easily prune it down and it will grow back some to look better.

Although aesthetically appealing for humans, F. rubra, based on current knowledge of the plant’s floral and faunal associations, offers comparatively little value to wildlife. For instance, it is not a host plant for butterflies and native moths nor does it produce any nectar. Its magenta flowers are the color that typically draws butterflies but they will expend energy to get to the flowers and find no nectar. It competes for continually shrinking, due to human development, wetland acreage with plants that support more wildlife. Additionally, its seeds are not an important food source for birds or rodents. Herbivores do not find its foliage appealing. Its flowers are a source of food for insects that consume pollen. However, some sources say the plant mainly uses wind pollination, a pollination strategy that typically makes comparatively little pollen available for pollen-consuming insects. As a result, some conservationists suggest using this plant in aesthetics-oriented gardens but focusing more on other species for restoration work.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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