Fall Shrub ID: Rosy Meadowsweet

Photo of Rosy Meadowsweet in fall

Two species of Meadowsweet (genus Spiraea) are native to New England, White Meadowsweet (S. alba) and Rosy Meadowsweet (S. tomentosa). The two are readily separated by flower color (tomentosa's flowers are rosy-red, whereas those of alba are white or light pink), leaf undersides (furry-hairy in tomentosa vs. hairless, or nearly so, in alba), and shape (tomentosa has a more slender, pointed spire). The latter feature explains Rosy Meadowsweet's alternative common name of Steeplebush.

To learn more and see photos of both Spiraeas, visit Go Botany: Rosy Meadowsweet and White Meadowsweet. To view the following images in full-size, click here.

3 thoughts on “Fall Shrub ID: Rosy Meadowsweet”

  1. You didn’t mention the fragrance, but I suppose it would be difficult to convey in words. We have Rosy Meadowsweet, although I didn’t know the name until reading your post, here in northern Idaho. It smells heavenly!

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