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dwarf spiraea, shinyleaf meadowsweet

Douglas' spiraea, Douglas' spirea, Douglas' spirea (ssp. douglasii), hardhack, hardhack spirea, hardhack steeplebush, Menzies' spirea (ssp. menziesii), pink spirea, rose spiraea, rose spirea, spiraea, western hardhack

Habit Shrubs, 3–10(–15) dm. Shrubs, 10–30 dm.

erect to arching, branched.

erect to ascending, branched.


petiole 3–8 mm, sparsely hairy;

blade ovate to elliptic or suborbiculate, 2–10 × 1–2.5 cm, coriaceous, base obtuse, rounded, or subcordate, margins irregularly, coarsely and sharply doubly serrate from midpoint to apex, teeth acute and mucronate, number of primary and secondary serrations 1 times number of secondary veins (excluding inter-secondary veins), venation pinnate cladodromous, secondary veins not prominent, apex acute, obtuse, or rounded, abaxial surface mostly glabrous, adaxial glabrous.

petiole 3–5 mm;

blade bicolorous, elliptic to obovate, 3–10 × 0.5–4 cm, chartaceous, base cuneate, margins serrate distally from middle, venation pinnate craspedodromous, secondary veins prominent, apex acute to obtuse, abaxial surface lanate to tomentose, glabrous, or pubescent, adaxial glabrous.


mostly terminal, corymbiform, 2–5 × 3–10 cm height 0.4–1.1 times diam.;

branches rarely in axils of leaves, glabrous or glabrate.

mostly terminal, conic panicles, [5–]8–25 × 3–6[–10] cm height 2–4 times diam. branches glabrous or glabrescent to tomentose.


1–3 mm, glabrous or glabrate.

1–3 mm, glabrous or tomentose.


4–7 mm diam.;

hypanthia hemispheric, 0.8–1 mm, abaxial surface glabrous or pubescent, adaxial glabrous;

sepals triangular, 0.5–1 mm;

petals chalky white to pink, orbiculate, 1.3–1.5 mm;

staminodes 5–15 reduced to serrations;

stamens 15–20, 2 times petal length.

2–4 mm diam.;

hypanthia hemispheric, 1 mm, abaxial surface tomentose, adaxial glabrous;

sepals ovate, 1 mm;

petals light to dark pink, ovate to obovate, 1–2 mm;

staminodes 0;

stamens 25–35, 2–3 times petal length.


nearly fusiform, 2–3 mm, shiny, glabrous.

oblanceoloid, 2.5–3 mm, shiny, glabrous, adaxial suture sometimes ciliate.


= 36.

Spiraea corymbosa

Spiraea douglasii

Phenology Flowering May–Oct; fruiting Jun–Nov.
Habitat Open rocky soil, rocky, lightly wooded sites, dry or fast draining slopes, rocky edges of woods
Elevation 0–500 m (0–1600 ft)
from FNA
GA; MA; MD; NC; NJ; PA; TN; VA; WV; NS; ON [Introduced in e Europe]
from FNA
AK; CA; CO; ID; MT; OR; WA; BC [Introduced in Europe]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

H. A. Gleason and A. Cronquist (1963) and L. J. Uttal (1974) considered Spiraea corymbosa to be a variety of S. betulifolia. K. Sax (1936) found S. corymbosa to be a triploid with complete pollen sterility and hypothesized that it must exist as a diploid, or form viable egg cells, because it is involved in hybrids. If so, these cytological differences may be correlated with some morphological variation.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Varieties 3 (3 in the flora).

Spiraea douglasii has been popular in the garden trade and was used to develop a number of hybrids. In North America, the hybrid most likely to be encountered is S. ×billardii Hortus ex K. Koch, because the parental species are both native, although S. salicifolia was widely imported from Europe and thus S. ×pseudosalicifolia Silverside would also likely be encountered.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Leaf abaxial surfaces lanate to tomentose.
var. douglasii
1. Leaf abaxial surfaces glabrous or pubescent
→ 2
2. Pedicels, hypanthia, and sepals tomentulose to sparsely pubescent.
var. menziesii
2. Pedicels, hypanthia, and sepals glabrescent or glabrous.
var. roseata
Source FNA vol. 9, p. 403. FNA vol. 9, p. 406.
Parent taxa Rosaceae > subfam. Amygdaloideae > tribe Spiraeeae > Spiraea Rosaceae > subfam. Amygdaloideae > tribe Spiraeeae > Spiraea
Sibling taxa
S. alba, S. cantoniensis, S. chamaedryfolia, S. douglasii, S. japonica, S. lucida, S. prunifolia, S. salicifolia, S. splendens, S. stevenii, S. thunbergii, S. tomentosa, S. virginiana, S. ×hitchcockii, S. ×pyramidata, S. ×vanhouttei
S. alba, S. cantoniensis, S. chamaedryfolia, S. corymbosa, S. japonica, S. lucida, S. prunifolia, S. salicifolia, S. splendens, S. stevenii, S. thunbergii, S. tomentosa, S. virginiana, S. ×hitchcockii, S. ×pyramidata, S. ×vanhouttei
Subordinate taxa
S. douglasii var. douglasii, S. douglasii var. menziesii, S. douglasii var. roseata
Synonyms S. betulifolia var. corymbosa, S. ostryfolia, S. repens, S. sororia
Name authority Rafinesque: Précis Découv. Somiol., 36. (1814) Hooker: Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 172. (1832)
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