Spiraea douglasii
Common Name: rose spirea 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Western North America
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Rose-pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained, acidic soils in full sun to part shade. Needs consistent moisture. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. Remove suckers promptly to prevent plants from spreading to form thickets.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Spiraea douglasii, commonly called western spirea, steeple bush or hardhack, is a deciduous, clump-forming shrub that will spread by suckers to form colonies over time. It typically grows 4-6’ tall. It is native from Alaska to northern California and Montana where it is often found growing in moist soils of marshes, swamps, bogs, damp meadows and along streams. Oval green leaves (to 4” long) are felty white-tomentose beneath. Terminal clusters (to 8” long) of rose-pink flowers appear in summer. Flowers turn brown as they fade.

Genus name comes from the Greek word speira meaning wreath in reference to the showy flower clusters seen on most shrubs in the genus.

Specific epithet honors Scottish botanist David Douglas.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to fireblight, leaf spot, powdery mildew and die back. Potential insect pests include aphids and scale.

Garden Uses

This is a spreading shrub that will naturalize in moist soils in the landscape. Effective in low spots or along ponds or streams. It is a good plant for wild areas, but may not be appropriate for more formal garden areas.