Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Spiraea tomentosa L.

Common name(s): steeplebush, rosy meadowsweet

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


-leaves are

  • simple
  • alternate
  • toothed
  • white or brownish fur on the underside

-tall spires of pink flowers

– may be confused with meadowsweet (S. alba), which also occurs in wild blueberry fields but is not woolly on lower leaf surfaces; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


-disturbed sites

-meadows and fields



Wildlife Benefits:

-attracts butterflies

– food plant for caterpillars of the Columbia silkmoth (Hyalophora columbia), a large saturnid documented from Maine



Go Botany. “Spiraea Tomentosa L.” Spiraea Tomentosa (Rosy Meadowsweet, Steeplebush): Go Botany, 2021,