Information on Dropwort

Common Name: Dropwort
Scientific Name: Filipendula vulgaris
Irish Name: Lus braonach
Family Group: Rosaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Dropwort could sometimes be confused with:


A stiff, erect and hairless perennial, Dropwort is only found in Ireland in Counties Clare and Galway. A close relative of Meadowsweet which it resembles in many ways, it grows to 60 cm high, preferring calcareous meadows and rocky, limestone heaths. It is an elegant plant which bears unscented, 6-petalled flowers (10 – 20 mm) in terminal cymes or flat-topped clusters from May to August. These pretty flowers have prominent stamens, are flushed with red below and are somewhat larger than those of Meadowsweet. There are also fewer of these flowers in each cluster than in those of Meadowsweet. The lower leaves are in a rosette - numerous, distinctive, dark-green and pinnate. They are also alternate on the stem, with 8 – 10 pairs of leaflets and have tiny leaflets between each of the main ones. This is a native plant which belongs to the Rosaceae family. 

I first recorded and photographed this plant on Slieve Carron in County Clare in 2011.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Dropwort spreads by means of slim thread-like roots which carry starchy tubers at their ends. In Latin ‘filum’  means ‘filament’ and ‘pendulus’ means pendulous so one can expect that the species name ‘Filipendula’ refers to these roots. It is thought that the starchy root tubers were used in some countries as food plants. 

This plant is not related to Water-dropworts which belong to the Apiaceae (Umbellifer) family and some of which are extremely poisonous.