Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (Du Roi.) Ait.
ROSACEAE (Rose Family)
EtymologySpiraea means spiral, from the Greek "speira"; alba is Latin for white.
DescriptionA deciduous, broad-leaved shrub indicative of mineral-rich conditions, meadowsweet grows 2-6' tall, often forming large colonies in open, sunny habitats.
Wetland indicator statusFACW+
Plant Height2-6 feet
LeavesDeciduous, alternate, simple, toothed; 2-3" long; obovate, oblong or broadly oblanceolate, smooth on both surfaces.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite to pinkish (rarely pink or rose), tiny (3/16 -- 1/4"), 5 petals; in a downy, pyramid-shaped terminal cluster (2-5" long) and smaller cone-shaped clusters at the ends of the upper twigs.
Flowering PeriodJune-September
FruitCapsule, tiny, brown, 5-parted; clustered in seed heads that are pyramid-shaped or conical.
Fruiting PeriodAugust-October, persistent.
HabitatWet meadows, shrub swamps, open fens and bog margins; also dry fields and roadsides.
RangeNewfoundland to Michigan, south to North Carolina.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett