Spiraea tomentosa grows to up to four feet high, and prefers moist to wet soil and full sun. It blooms in summer. Individual Steeplebush flowers are about 1/16 of an inch wide and are arranged in narrow, pyramid-shaped clusters that can be up to eight inches long. Butterflies and other nectar-feeding insects find the flowers highly attractive. The flowers are followed by small, dry, brown fruit. It has a dense white-woolly tomentum which covers its stem and the underside of its leaves. It is noted for its astringent properties, which cause it to be used medicinally.
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- Lawrence Newcomb (1977). Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. Little, Brown.
- Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Hardhack". Encyclopedia Americana.
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