P&PDL Picture of the Week for
February 15, 2010

Steeplebush

Mike Mickelbart and Kelly Stanton, Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Purdue University

Spiraea tomentosa (hardhack or steeplebush)  is native to eastern North America, and can be found growing from the Gulf States up into Canada, as well as in the Pacific Northwest. Spiraea tomentosa grows to be 1 to 1.5 m tall and equally wide. It produces long-lasting terminal inflorescences with pink flowers throughout most of the summer on the ends of newly-produced vertical stems. It sends up numerous basal stems, with little branching. Spiraea tomentosa was used in the landscape as early as 1736. Today, it is used primarily in habitat restoration and naturalized areas. We are currently evaluating this species for its potential as a landscape species in Indiana.

Photos courtesy of Kelly Stanton

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Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service