Family:     Rosaceae (Rose family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     up to 1.2 m (up to 4 ft)

Blooming: July-August


Steeple Bush

Spiraea tomentosa L.

Stem: erect, usually not branched.  It starts fuzzy with brown hairs covering becoming hairless and woody.

Flowers: are lusciously creamy pink to purplish-pink, sometimes with a rare white form.  Each inflorescence can have about 150 - 15,000 flowers.  The stamens (boy-parts) are longer than the five petals.

Leaves: the leaves are alternately arranged with a rusty, white to tan woolly underside of the leaf.  They are 3-7 cm (1.2-2.75 in) long with a pointed tip.  The leaves are deeply veined (as seen in the picture).  The top of the leaf is sometimes hairy but darker than the underside.  They are toothed.

Fruit: wooly capsules.

Sun: Full 

Ideal condition: found in wet meadows of Northwest Indiana.  

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Landscape: a strong standing, gorgeous addition to a native landscape.  Attracts butterflies and birds!

Comments: Steeplebush is a treat to find when walking through prairies of Northwest Indiana.  It is similar to its cousin, meadowsweet (Spiraea alba), but meadowsweet's leaves and fruits are usually hairless.

Etymology: Vplants states that "Spiraea comes from the Greek word speiraira, a plant used to make garlands. Tomentosa means densely wooly".

Follow Us on Social Media
Contact Us!


​Telephone : ​219.879.3564

Email :


444 Barker Road

Michigan City, IN., 46360 

The mission of Save the Dunes is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

  • Facebook Clean Grey
  • Twitter Clean Grey
  • Instagram Social Icon

Leave a Comment