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MeadwortFilipendula ulmaria

The flowers of this classic Druid's herb have been found in Bronze Age burial sites in Wales and in the area around Scotland. This plant has been associated with mead making since ancient times and has for centuries been popular for strewing and for flavoring wine, beer, and vinegar. Flowers have been added for their almond flavor to fruit preserves and make a nice pot pourri ingredient when dried. They smell like honey when fresh and become more almond-like as they age. The dried leaves have the scent of new mown hay; Parkinson (a garden historian of the 17th century) wrote that Queen Elizabeth preferred this above all other strewing herbs for her own chambers. Gerard said that the flowers simmered in wine provided a drink that made the heart merry. Culpeper recommended a single leaf in a cup of claret wine to add relish. Some consider this a Jupiter herb, probably because of its height, especially when found growing in meadows, where it stands above other plants. I think, though, that Venus suits it better. As a sweet Venus herb that flowers at the right time, it's a good choice for Midsummer celebrations and weddings and is an excellent component in love magic. Herbally, meadowsweet contains a natural version of aspirin, but it is more acidic and so can cause stomach irritation. Don't give it to children because of the possibility of causing Reyes' syndrome. Top

This plant has another side, though. It was from its flowers as well as those of oak and broom that the magicians Math and Gwydion created a maiden to be the wife of Llew Llaw Gyffes. They called her Blodeuwedd, Flower Face, but she loved someone else and plotted with him to murder her husband. For that, the magician Gwydion turned her into an owl. So this plant has unsuspected depths, just as many that seem all sweetness and light on the surface have their dark hidden places. I think this well demonstrates that Venus is from from being an airy-fairy energy. This magic herb is also known as meadwort, queen of the meadow (another name for Eupatorium purpureum), pride of the meadow, meadow wort, meadow queen, lady of the meadow, dollof, meadsweet, and bridewort.

How to Grow Meadowsweet
This seed can be started in fall and might germinate before winter, but it also benefits from cold stratification. Transplant 12"/30cm apart to shaded, damp areas; this member of the rose family enjoys the banks of creeks, forest edges, and damp meadows. It's hardy down to zone -30C/-30F (zone 3). It gets 3-4ft/90-120cm tall and up to 2-3ft/60-90cm wide. Harvest leaves before the flowers appear, which is any time from early summer to early fall. Harvest the sweet smelling white flowers when they have just open. General growing info. Top

Filipendula ulmaria
100 seeds $3.75

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Love Spells
Venus Herb

2012, 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission