WSU Clark County Extension

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Western Spirea

Scientific name: Spiraea douglassi

Type:Deciduous shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:1 to 9
Plant Characteristics
Height:6 ft
Width:5 ft
Bloom:Summer flowers
Bloom Time:June to September
Bloom Color:Pink
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description As a fast growing Northwest native deciduous shrub, western or Douglas spiraea (also referred to as hardhack or steeplebush) grows 5'-6' tall and nearly as wide. Western spiraea is best known for its towering rose colored flowers, resembling cotton candy cones, which appear from June through September. Home gardeners should consider this species for their native landscape designs.

Leaves alternate, simple, oblong, and 1”-3” long. Leaves have irregular serrate or toothed margins, and are dark green above, and whitish beneath. Flowers are deep pink, 2 to 8” long, and are arranged in conical plumes. The beautiful flowers of this plant attract butterflies, bees and other insects. Spent flower clusters are dark brown, and are retained as dried out forms over the winter. When Douglas spiraea forms dense thickets, it is a perfect hiding spot for small mammals, amphibians, and birds.

It is native to low, moist places, from northern California north to Alaska, at lower elevations. It likes sun to part shade. It will tolerate a lot of water. It can become very drought tolerant. Extensively used for wetland restorations.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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