Scientific name Filipendula ulmaria – Phragmites australis tall-herb swamp
Common name Meadowsweet – Common Reed tall-herb swamp
Community code FW3F


FW3F: Filipendula ulmaria – Phragmites australis tall-herb swamp   FW3F: Filipendula ulmaria – Phragmites australis tall-herb swamp   FW3F map: Filipendula ulmaria – Phragmites australis tall-herb swamp

Download full pdf synopsis: FW3F



This is a rather variable assemblage of swampy ground which can be dominated by number of different species. Filipendula ulmaria and Phragmites australis are constant features, however. They are frequently joined by the tall forb species Valeriana officinalis, Lythrum salicaria and Lysimachia vulgaris, and less often by Iris pseudacorus or Angelica sylvestris. In addition to reed, several graminoids may be present. Agrostis stolonifera is frequent and the following species are all occasional: Carex disticha, Festuca arundinacea, Phalaris arundinacea, Molinia caerulea, Festuca rubra, Carex lasiocarpa, Juncus subnodulosus, Holcus lanatus and Carex panicea. Equisetum fluviatile occurs on the damper ground. Through the diverse flora may be found clambering stems of Vicia cracca, Galium palustre or Lathyrus pratensis. There may be a sparse bryophyte layer with Calliergonella cuspidata the most frequent species.



This community is likely to be found on periodically inundated, fairly fertile and base-rich ground close to lakes and rivers.



No sub-communities are currently described.


Similar communities

The abundance of Filipendula ulmaria and other tall forb species set this community apart from the others in group FW3. The marsh-grassland communities, GL1B and GL2A, also exhibit an abundance of Filipendula, but Phragmites australis is almost never found in those communities which are of distinctly different structure, again lacking the taller species commonly found here.


Conservation value

This is a species-rich community compared to other swamp types, being transitional to wet grassland. Examples of this vegetation are likely to correspond with EU HD Annex I habitat 6430 Hydrophilous tall herb.



Most of these stands are probably unmanaged but some drier types may be used for rough grazing. They are threatened by eutrophication of nearby waters, drainage and agricultural improvement.