Meadowsweet Facts

Meadowsweet Facts
Meadowsweet is deciduous shrub that belongs to the family of roses. It originates from Europe and West Asia. Meadowsweet has been introduced to North America, where it grows in abundance today. It can be found in the meadows, ditches and areas near the roads and streams. Meadowsweet grows on the moist soil, in areas that provide plenty of sunlight (it tolerates partial shade). People cultivate meadowsweet mostly in ornamental purposes. Other than that, meadowsweet is frequently used in medical purposes.
Interesting Meadowsweet Facts:
Meadowsweet is bushy plant, with erect, reddish-purple stem that can reach 3 to 7 feet in height and 1.5 to 4 feet in width.
Meadowsweet produces wrinkled, pinnate leaves composed of lanceolate leaflets with toothed edges. Leaves are dark green colored on the upper surface and pale green on the bottom side.
Meadowsweet produces small, creamy-white or pink colored flowers arranged in the form of large, fluffy clusters at the end of the branches. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Meadowsweet blooms between May and August. Flowers emit sweet fragrance which attracts bumblebees, thrips and flies, main pollinators of meadowsweet. Wind also plays role in the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of meadowsweet is pod-like aggregate of follicles.
Meadowsweet propagates via seed and division of the root.
Name meadowsweet refers to the fact that this plant was used as a flavoring agent of alcoholic beverage called mead (made of honey and water) in the past. Besides for mead, meadowsweet was also frequently used to improve taste of beer, wine and vinegar. Meadowsweet is still part of human diet. Some chefs use meadowsweet to add almond-like flavor to soups, fruit salads, jams and sorbets today.
Meadowsweet was inevitable part of wedding ceremonies in the past (used both for scattering and preparation of bridal garlands). That's why it is also known as "bridewort".
Meadowsweet was used to repel fleas and lice and to mask unpleasant smell in the houses during the Middle Ages.
Salicylic acid, basic ingredient of aspirin (worldwide known drug used in treatment of minor pains and fever), was first isolated from meadowsweet during the 19th century.
Meadowsweet contains substances that are effective in treatment of inflammation, fever, cough, headache, rheumatism and diarrhea. It can be also used to facilitate digestion and for cleansing of eyes (in the form of lotion).
Flowers of meadowsweet are often used for the preparation of potpourris (mixtures of dried flowers which release pleasant smell).
Meadowsweet has strong root system that can be used in the control of erosion.
Root of meadowsweet can be used as a source of black dye.
Meadowsweet is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.

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