Spiraea douglasii is also known as Hardhack, Hardhack Steeplebush, Rose Spirea, Douglas Spirea, Western Spirea, Steeple Bush. It is a woolly, clump-forming, suckering shrub, native to North America.
Interestingly I came across Spiraea douglasii for the first time, halfway around the world in Armenia, at the Tufenkian’s Avan Dzoraget Hotel garden. By the way, this is a wonderful resort hotel located by a river about 160km north of Yerevan, the capital. It was built in 2004 in the style of medieval Armenian castles. Its architecture uses basalt stone. This is a nice contrast to its landscape. An isolated, secluded, and very relaxing resort.
Spiraea douglasii is part of the Rosaceae family of plants. It is an easy-to-grow plant. It grows to about 2m or 7ft. It grows from rhizomes. It produces a large cluster plume of pink flowers. Spiraea douglasii flowers in spring and early summer. The flower spikes are about 8″ or 20cm long at the tip of branches. Spiraea douglasii flowers are fragrant.
The leaves are dark green. They are oblong, toothed, whitish, and veiny underside. Spiraea douglasii foliage turns yellow in autumn. It is native to riparian landscapes or bogs. It is considered invasive in Europe. Native Americans used Spiraea douglasii as brooms and for hanging seafood to cook.
How to grow Spiraea douglasii:
Grow Spiraea douglasii in the sun or partial shade. Plant it in average soil that is on the moist or wet but not soggy. Keep the soil consistenly moist as it does not like drying out. It attracts butterflies. But it is deer-resistant.
Spiraea douglasii is generally pest-free and disease-free. Propagate by softwood cuttings in summer or division early in spring. If you need to prune Spiraea douglasii then do it after flowering.