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Meadowsweet Shrub OR.

Meadowsweet Shrub OR.

Meadowsweet Shrub

Meadowsweet is a Wisconsin Native shrub that grows to be 2-4′ tall, thrives in full sun, and grows well in wet areas like bogs or along edges of streams. Meadowsweet doesn’t have the typical neat shrub like structure as it grows in colonies and could be commonly mistaken for a wildflower in a wet prairie like setting, though it is classified as a woody shrub with woody root structure. The flowers are panicles with individual small white flowers distributed among them and can be seen during midsummer.Meadowsweet is a native, upright, loose shrub reaching 3 to 6 feet high, forming colonies of finely-branched 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.

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet grows to be 2-4′ tall and is usually sparingly branched. Young branches are green, but as they age, they become smooth, brown, and woody. Alternate leaves occur along the young branches of the shrub and are densely distributed among them. The leaves are narrowly ovate, sharply serrated, and have short petioles. The upper side of the leaf is medium green with the bottom displaying a pale green. The branches terminate in panicles with flowers about 2-6” long and are oblong to pyramidal in shape.The flowers produce nectar and pollen which attract bumblebees, other bees, wasps, adult long horned beetles, and the Virginia Ctenucha moth. The caterpillars of the Spring azure butterfly feed on the flowers and buds. There are many other types of moths that also feed on Meadowsweet- usually the leaves.

The leaf beetle Tricholochmaea spiraeae is a specialist feeder, while the larvae of several gall gnats also rely on the shrubs for a source of food and habitation. The ruffed grouse and greater prairie chicken eat the flower buds, and the latter game bird eat the seeds during the fall and winter. White tailed deer often browse the upper leaves and twigs, while the cottontail rabbit occasionally browse the lower leaves and twigs.Meadowsweet is a perennial plant in the Rosaceae family. Although edible, meadowsweet is more recognized as an herbal medicine used to help with many maladies. In particular the flower head contains salicylic acid. The flowers produce nectar and pollen attracting various bees, wasps, adult long-horned beetles (Cerambycidae), and the moth Ctenucha virginica (Virginia Ctenucha). (Source:www.ediblewildfood.com)

 

 

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