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Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria

Like Ragged-robin, this is a species of wet places which can grow both in the open and under moderate shade. It is conspicuous from June to August when its cloud of white blossom stands out above most other plants in the tall herb communities. Unlike Ragged-robin, though, it enjoys high fertility and grows clonally, eventually developing dense clumps even in the face of stiff competition from other robust herbage.

Survey Results Map

A century ago it was common in meadows and on the banks of streams and ditches. In 1948 it was still very common in damp places near streams. Flora Klickmann noted that it was in bloom on 11/07/1923, 21/07/1931 and 08/07/1947, when it "fills the air with scent, but is most prolific with seed and comes up all over the place".

Today, the map shows it to be still widespread, especially along the banks of the Wye , in some damp woods and in some roadside ditches, but it is surprisingly absent from much of the Hudnalls and not-so-surprisingly absent from the farmland on the plateau. In almost all places it is competing with other robust species, but looks to be holding its own.

Verdict:

  • Probably some decline since the 1920s on commercial farmland, but still widespread.
  • A resilient species that has maintained its populations through the last 20 years.

George Peterken