Steeplebush

 - Spiraea tomentosa

Light: Full Sun, Partial
Soil: Sand, Loam, Clay
Moisture: Wet
Benefits: Pollinators
Height: 2'-4'
Blooms: Aug, Sep
Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Color: Pink
Spacing: 2'
Root: Rhizome

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Known for its spires of showy pink flowers, Steeplebush also has excellent foliage that turns bright gold and auburn in fall. The individual flowerets are similar to cultivated Spiraeas. This native forms a colony of upright, slender, wand-like plants. Plant it three feet on center to create a low hedge. Spiraea tomentosa requires a moist setting and is well suited for planting along shorelines, around ponds, in rain gardens, in naturalized swale or detention areas, or included in a water garden/feature.

It prefers full sun, but light shade is tolerated. Faded flower clusters can be removed to encourage additional bloom. It flowers on new wood, so prune in late winter to early spring if needed.

Also known as Hardhack, native Steeplebush is an uncommon shrub in wild and is found in high quality wetland habitats where it can form large colonies. Populations have declined because of urban sprawl, drainage projects, and destruction of wetlands. 

Steeplebush is a larval host for the Columbia silkmoth.


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