This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is pastures, downs, banks, waste places, railway banks. The habit is erect, or ascending, the stem being smooth or hairy, sparingly branched, with linear lance-shaped leaves, 6-8 in a whorl. The flowers are white, borne in a pyramidal panicle, with slender erect or ascending branches. The fruit is smooth. The plant is 1-4 ft. in height, and flowers from June to September, being a herbaceous perennial.
This is a native plant found in wet meadows, marshes, and wet places. The habit is erect, and the plant is provided with suckers, not stoles, with solitary, furrowed, smooth stems, hairy below, foetid, with alternate leaves, with lobes each side of a common stalk, the leaflets in 6-10 pairs (in V. sambucifolia in 4-6 pairs), lance-shaped, toothed on one side. The radical leaves are borne on long stalks. The flowers are white, or flesh-coloured. The small fruit is egg-shaped. The plant is 2-4 ft. high, flowering in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.