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DROPWORT

Filipendula vulgaris

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

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category
category8UnderShrubs
category
category8Evergreen
category
category8Broadleaf
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ6
stem
stem8round

16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
On limestone grassland near the summit.


16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The stem branches near the top with a flurry of flowers.


18th June 2015, Little Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Un-opened flower buds are tinged rosy red with darker red sepals. The flower buds keep growing until they are much larger than their sepals (bottom bud).


16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The stems are often brownish.


18th June 2015, Little Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The petals then open up, but the multitudinous stamens remain doubled over in the centre over the stigmas.


18th June 2015, Little Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Stamens with anthers folded over in the centre mostly hiding the stigmas.


18th June 2015, Little Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The long stamens then spring out with their numerous lemon-coloured anthers.


18th June 2015, Little Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Which reveals the lime-green stigmas in the centre.


18th June 2015, Little Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Lime-green stigmas (approx 12 in number) in centre revealed. The stamen filaments emerge amidst and beneath the stigmas in pairs.


18th June 2015, Little Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The petals are white and number six. Prominent numerous stamens bearing pale-yellow stamens and pollen.


16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
And a neat ring of 10-12 styles near the centre.


16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The petals are spaced out.


16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Stem leaves clasp the stem.


16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are shiny, alternate, pinnate, with roughly jagged forwardly-directed teeth.


17th July 2014, limestone pavement, Gait Barrows, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaf held aloft. This is one leaf, and consists of two alternate sizes of leaflets, in (nearly) opposite pairs, up the stem (which is a typical arrangement of leaves in the Rosaceae family.


17th July 2014, limestone pavement, Gait Barrows, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
All leaflets are stalkless. The smaller ones are very much smaller than the larger ones. Smaller ones are basically 3-lobed. The larger leaflets much longer than broad and hug half-way around the stem, which here is angular.


16th June 2009, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Tips of leaves sprout a short whisker or two.


3rd July 2010, Photo: © RWD
The fruits are long (3-4mm), hairy, with 10-12 grouped together in a circle with white stigmas still attached at the tip.


Related to : Meadowsweet (it is in the same Genus).

Not to be confused with: Dripwort [a liverwort].

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

No relation to : Water-dropworts such as Parlsey Water-dropwort or Hemlock Water-Dropwort [plants with similar names] which are mostly extremely poisonous, whereas the leaves of Dropwort are edible when young.

Leaves slightly reminiscent of: Yarrow.

The plants name refers not to dropping down after consuming it, but to the large pea-sized drop-like tubers on its' roots. The flowers are larger than those of Meadowsweet, and much less fuzzy in appearance. The plant is also much shorter than Meadowsweet, typically less than half the size. Dropwort prefers a chalky or limestone grassland whereas Meadowsweet likes to grow near water.

If crushed, the leaves and roots exude a small of oil of Wintergreen, due to the release of Methyl Salicylate, which serves to attract beneficial insects and to kill those that dare try to eat it, for it is toxic.


  Filipendula vulgaris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rosaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rose family8Rosaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Filipendula
Filipendula
(Meadowsweets)

DROPWORT

Filipendula vulgaris

Rose Family [Rosaceae]  

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