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Spiraea douglasii 01.jpg
Scientific classification
  • Drimopogon douglasii (Hook.) B.D.Jacks.
  • Drimopogon menziesii (Hook.) B.D.Jacks.
  • Spiraea fulvescens auct.

Spiraea douglasii is a species of flowering plant in the rose family native to western North America. Common names include hardhack, hardhack steeplebush, Douglas' spirea, douglasspirea, steeplebush, and rose spirea.


The plant is a woolly shrub growing 1 to 2 meters tall from rhizomes, forming dense riverside thickets. Large clusters of small pink flowers form spires in early summer, later turning dark and persisting. The leaves are toothed toward the tips. The undersides are whitish with prominent veins.

Distribution and habitat

Spiraea douglasii is native to western North America from Alaska across southwestern Canada and the Pacific Northwest. It occurs most often in riparian habitat types, such as swamps, streambanks, bogs and mudflats. It was introduced to Europe, where it is considered invasive. It grows among sedges, horsetails, wild blueberries, and other swamp flora.

Invasive status in Europe

Imported in Europe, the plant is considered as invasive, especially in Belgium, Germany and Poland. Spirea douglasii decreases the biodiversity: it colonizes bogs to the detriment of other plants.

Properties and uses

Native Americans found S. douglasii useful for making brooms and hanging seafood to cook. This plant is used as an ornamental in landscaping, where it grows best in sunny, moist places.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Spiraea douglasii para niños

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