Meadowsweet is a native, upright, loose shrub reaching 3 to 6 feet high, forming colonies of finely-branches stems. Ideal for wet, sunny landscapes. In mid to-late summer shrubs produce 4-inch long slender clusters of white flowers. Best purchased through nurseries specializing in native plants.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago)
- Wet soil
- Occasional flooding
Seasons of Interest:
- late summer
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & form
An erect, slender shrub reaching 3 to 6 feet high, with a suckering habit.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in full sun in wet to moist conditions. Tolerant of light shade but will produce less flowers.
Soil pH adaptable but should be rich in organic matter. Tolerant of temporary wet conditions.
Suckers can be controlled by mowing or cutting to ground.
Easily grown with little maintenance required.
Disease, pests, and problems
Japanese beetles, leaf spots, mildew
Native geographic location and habitat
Found in marshy meadows, boggy soils, open, wet meadows and along stream banks in upper Midwest, including northern IL
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Birds, butterflies and bees
Bark color and texture
Young stems are green and smooth becoming brown and woody with age.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate. Narrow, up to 3 inch long, ovate to lanceolate leaves, with finely sharp toothed margins. The upper leaf surface is medium green with paler underside.
Small leaf-like bracts at the base of leaves on older plants.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Large, terminal clusters (panicles) of white flowers up to 4 inches tall.
Flowers mid to late summer for 1-2 months.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Persistent clusters of upright, 5-segmented fruits (follicles), each contain 2 to 3 seeds.