Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Spiraea tomentosa L.
- Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: This shrub is distinguished by its dense panicles of pink flowers and its leaves that
have a dense covering of white wool on the lower surface.
- Habitat: Bogs, wet meadows, low woods, swamps.
- Habit: Shrub up to 6 feet tall.
- Stems: Upright, usually unbranched, woolly-hairy.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to elliptic to oval, rounded or pointed at the tip, tapering
or rounded at the base, simply or doubly toothed, dark green and smooth on the upper surface,
covered with white wool on the lower surface, up to 2 inches long, up to 1 inch wide.
- Flowers: Many crowded in a narrow, terminal panicle, each flower about 1/6 inch across.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below.
- Petals: 5, pink, less commonly white, free from each other but attached to the calyx, up to
1/10 inch long.
- Stamens: 15-20, free from each other but attached to the calyx.
- Pistils: Usually 5, free from each other; ovaries superior.
- Fruits: Follicles up to 1/8 inch long, hairy; seeds very narrow.
- Notes: This shrub is also known as hardhack.
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