Filipendula vulgaris

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This article is about the plant in the Rosaceae family. For the plants in the Apiacae family, see Water dropwort.
Filipendula vulgaris - angerpist.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Filipendula
Species: F. vulgaris
Binomial name
Filipendula vulgaris
Illustration showing tubers.

Filipendula vulgaris, commonly known as Dropwort or Fern-leaf Dropwort, is a perennial herb of the family Rosaceae closely related to Meadowsweet. It is found in dry pastures across much of Europe and central and northern Asia mostly on lime.

The genus name comes from Latin filum ("thread") and pendulus ("hanging") in reference to the root tubers that hang from the roots in some species. Specific epithet means common.[clarification needed] The common English name "dropwort" comes from the tubers that hang like drops from the root.

The crushed leaves and roots have a scent of the oil of wintergreen (Methyl salicylate).


It has finely-cut, radical leaves, fern-like in appearance which form a basal rosette, and an erect stem 20–50 centimetres (8–20 in) tall[1] bearing a loose terminal inflorescence of small creamy white flowers. The flowers appear in dense clusters from late spring to mid summer atop sparsely leafed stems about 30 cm tall.

This plant prefers full sun to partial shade. It is more tolerant of dry conditions than most other members of its genus. It is a perennial of chalk and limestone downs and on heaths on other basic rocks.


Propagation is by seed and the division of the creeping roots. The tuberous roots and young leaves can be cooked as a vegetable or eaten raw as a salad. The taste is bitter sweet. Mature leaves smell of oil of Wintergreen when crushed, due to the release of Methyl Salicylate.[2]


Filipendula vulgaris flowers have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea for treatment of rheumatism, gout, infections, and fever.[3]


  1. ^ C A Stace, Interactive Flora of the British Isles, a Digital Encyclopaedia: Filipendula vulgaris. ISBN 90-75000-69-3. (Online version)
  2. ^ Dropwort Wildflower finder UK, RW Darlington. Accessed July 2013
  3. ^ Vogl, S; Picker, P; Mihaly-Bison, J; Fakhrudin, N; Atanasov, A. G.; Heiss, E. H.; Wawrosch, C; Reznicek, G; Dirsch, V. M.; Saukel, J; Kopp, B (2013). "Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine--an unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 149 (3): 750–71. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. PMC 3791396. PMID 23770053.  edit

External links[edit]

Media related to Filipendula vulgaris at Wikimedia Commons