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Spiraea tomentosa

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, loam, clay, sand

Height: 2'-4'

Bloom Time: July, August, September

Bloom Color: purple, pink, lilac

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, attracts butterflies, cottage garden plant, cut flowers, deer resistant, mounding, naturalizing, pond margin plant, stream margin plant

Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
  • Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
  • Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)(steeplebush)
  • Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)(steeplebush)
  • Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Spiraea tomentosa

Also known as:

steeplebush

,

hardback

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Spiraea tomentosa is small, mounding, deciduous shrub that rarely grows taller than 5'. The stems are rigid and undivided. In late summer, these are terminated by dense, plume-shaped panicles of tiny pinkish flowers. The epithet "tomentosa" is a reference to the stems and the underside of the leaves, that are covered in tomentum (closely matted fine hairs).

Cultivation

Spiraea tomentosa is shade intolerant. Usually found in moist open meadows, or around water features, bogs and marshes, it does best in full sun and moist to wet soil. Can be successfully used in cottage gardens, provided the soil is not allowed to dry out for extended periods of time. The stems die back in the colder parts of its native range. Shrubs can be cut back hard in late winter. Blooming period can last 2 months, between July and September. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Propagate from seed or by softwood cuttings.

Additional Notes

Spiraea tomentosa is an attractive, underutilized shrub. It is a good source for cut flowers, with the added benefit that the cuttings will usually root in the vase and can be used as propagation material. The leaves and twigs are very astringent, and only consumed by deer as a last resort.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AR, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Rosales
Family Rosaceae Rose family
Genus Spiraea spirea
Species Spiraea tomentosa steeplebush