Meadowsweets are damp meadow plants, so ideally needing a retentive soil. There are around 10 species, and have fluffy flowers, held in flattish heads, rather than astilbes, which have often have flowers held in upright spires. Foliage is often attractively palmate. With a good moisture-retentive soil, they can take a full sun position, or tolerate some part shade. Our native meadowsweet, F. ulmaria, found across Britain, has a strong sweet or medicinal smell. It has been used in herbal medicine and to flavour meads, wines and jams.