Habit: many stemmed, fast growing, rhizomatous deciduous shrub with shiny green leaves that are oval and toothed toward the tip and white-woolly beneath. Western spirea’s small pink to rose colored flowers are fragrant and grouped together to make a rounded spike like inflorescence (panicle) appearing fuzzy due to the long stamen in the individual flowers. Blooms between June and September, fruit is a follicle.
Ecology: found mainly in riparian habitats such as streambanks, bogs and wetlands, as well as in moist coniferous forests up to 6500 ft (2000 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, well drained moist to wet soil. It is tolerant of permanently waterlogged soils and seasonal flooding, although it can also be somewhat drought tolerant if grown in semi shade.
Good for wildlife to browse and can help stabilize streambank erosion. Spiraea douglasii can be aggressive by forming dense impenetrable thickets in riparian areas.