Pink or white.
New England southward.
June, July and August.
Flowers: small; clustered in panicles. Calyx: of five cleft sepals. Corolla: of five rounded petals. Stamens: very numerous. Pistils: five to eight. Leaves: alternate; lanceolate; toothed; veined with a much lighter colour and single small leaflets at their bases. Stem: rather smooth; highly coloured.
The sweet, fleecy daintiness of the meadow-sweet which greets us in the low, moist meadows must have been the inspiration that gave it its common name, as it is unfortunately without fragrance. It is when we find so lovely a flower scentless that we realise how great a charm that of perfume is, and how much we are appealed to through fragrance. In fact, in delight of sweetness of smell we are veritable bees and butterflies.
Many flowers use the means of casting out fragrance to inform the insects of their whereabouts; and it has been observed, as in the case of the meadow-sweet, that those that are sufficiently showy to attract the bee's eye seldom appeal as well to his sense of smell.