Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Spiraea latifolia
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

A thicket-forming woody plant, growing to a height of 60 - 150 cm.

Meadowsweet Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: 3.8 - 7 cm long, narrowly ovate to broadly lanceolate, smooth, coarsely toothed, paler on underneath. Flowers: white or pale pinkish, 6 mm wide, in pyramidal terminal clusters; 5 sepals ; 5 petals; numerous stamens; usually 5 pistils; flowering June to September. Fruit: brown, dry, splitting open and persisting.


Native; Newfoundland to Nova Scotia; southward from New England along the Eastern Seaboard to North Carolina; west to the Great Lakes States; on low, moist ground, meadows and fields.


Less spectacular than the showy, cultivated garden Spiraeas, Meadowsweet is more suited for naturalistic gardens. The closely related Virginia Spiraea Spiraea virginiana, is native of the Appalachian Mountains; it has rounded flower clusters and thiner, oblong leaves.

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