Filipendula ulmaria, Spiraea ulmaria, SE: Älggräs, mjödört, älgört,
DE: Großes Mädesüß, NL: Moerasspirea, UK: Meadowsweet
|| ||Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim.|
|| ||Spiraea ulmaria L.|
|| ||Älggräs, mjödört, älgört|
|| ||Großes Mädesüß|
|| || Moerasspirea|
|| ||Meadowsweet, Queen of the Meadow|
|| || Rosaceae, Rose family, Rosväxter|
|| ||Erect, branched, red stem|
|| ||Pinnate, serrategreen on the upper side and whitish and downy underneath|
|| ||Creamy-white clusters|
|| ||June, July, August
|| ||a one-seeded follicle, spirally twisted|
|| ||Woods, bogs, meadows|
Derivation of the botanical name:
Filipendula, filum, "thread", and pendulus, "drooping" – referring to the root tubers of some species which hang together by threads.
ulmaria, from the Latin, ulmus, "elm," referring to the resemblance of Meadowsweet's leaves to those of the elm tree.
- The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
- The standard author abbreviation Maxim. is used to indicate Carl Maximowicz (1827 – 1891), a Russian botanist.
- Filipendula ulmaria was one of the three most sacred herbs of the Druids (Mentha aquatica and Verbena officinalis being the other two).Druids fulfilled a variety of roles in Celtic religion, as priests and religious officiants, but also as judges, sacrificers, teachers and lore-keepers. In general, they were the "college professors" of their time.
- In 1597, John Gerard (1545-1611/12) said of Meadowsweet in his Herbal: "the smell thereof makes the heart merry and joyful and delighteth the senses."
- Nicholas Culpeper(1616–1654), a seventeenth-century English pharmacist, mentioned its use to help break fevers and promote sweating during a cold or flu.
- In 1838, the Italian, Rafaele Piria (1814-1865), first produced salicylic acid from the flower buds of Meadowsweet and from Willow Bark (Salix alba).
- In 1897 Felix Hoffmann (1868-1946) formulated a new drug (acetylsalicylic acid), a synthetically altered version of salicin, derived from Filipendula ulmaria, which caused less digestive upset than pure salicylic acid. The new drug, formally Acetylsalicylic acid, was named aspirin by Hoffman's employer Bayer AG after the plant's older name Spirea ulmaria.