Common name: Meadowsweet. Airgead Luachra.
This population originates from Co Down. Irish Grid reference: J5949.
Perennial herbaceous plant, tall, flower stems erect to 120cms. Beautiful creamy white clumps of pannicles of flowers from July to August. Foliage is attractive deep green, a large fairly loose rosette of stemmed, lobed leaves to around 80cms, emerging each year anew after dying back over winter. Common throughout Ireland in wetland areas. Has a distinctive, pleasant sweet scent. A member of the Rose family, it was used as a strewing and bedding herb in the past.
A really popular plant favoured by many types of insects, bees, dragonflies, hoverflies, moths,, butterflies and also useful for caterpillars and other young larve.
Found in freshwater wet habitats around Ireland. Drainage etc., has been decreasing its footprint, but it does well where it gets the chance. Not invasive, it’s a fairly slow growing perennial.
Sowing and growing guidelines:
Sow in autumn or early spring, around Feb as germination is erratic and can be slow. Sow in seed trays of loamy compost mixed with course horticultural sand and stand to a gravel tray where you can easily keep the water topped up. It’s very important it doesn’t dry out at all. Leave trays in a cool greenhouse/polytunnel/cold frame, you could cover tray with white plastic board to keep the compost moist and direct sunlight off, helps deter mice too. When large enough, prick out into modules and bring on until large enough to plant out in situ.
It’s a slow growing plant and will usually flower in the 2nd year, reaching full height in its 3rd or 4th years.
Once you have some established you can lift the root ball in winter and divide it to get more plants.
Trim back old foliage in your early spring tidy up and this allows the new growth through nicely.
Cultural history: Legend tells us that Aine, the land Goddess of Munster gave Meadowsweet its sweet scent. It is considered to be one of the three most sacred of herbs, along with Vervain and Watermint.
Meadowsweet has traditional dyeing, medicinal, culinary and curitative properties. It contains salicylic acid, so if you’re allergic to asprin you might not want to ingest this plant.
Avg contents: 70 seeds.