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Audubon® Meadow Sweet Spirea
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With warm summer days come the cool white spikes of Meadowsweet Spirea. This worthy native brings beauty and life to wild spaces and natural gardens all over the Northeast and Upper Midwest. The fragrant flowers attract a diverse array of pollinators, and the foliage feeds a variety of moth and butterfly larvae. Birds bob among the branches in search of caterpillar meals, and many find safety in the cover of Meadowsweet’s twiggy branches. Indigo Buntings, goldfinches, Song Sparrows, Field Sparrows, and Redwing Blackbirds have been known to build a nest and raise a family there.
May Benefit & Attract: Sparrows, Red-wing Blackbirds, and finches.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
In some areas, Meadowsweet Spirea, along with its close relative, Steeplebush, can supply suitable food to up to one hundred different species of moth and butterfly caterpillars. Some of these can only feed on Spireas, just as the monarch butterfly can only feed on Milkweeds. Some of the more remarkable insects that Meadowsweet supports include the beloved woolly bear caterpillar (which becomes the Isabella tiger moth), the spring azure butterfly, and the sharp-lined yellow moth, which mimics a yellow leaf. The apple sphinx, a type of hawk moth, also feeds on Spireas. Hawk moths are notable for being the second-fastest flying insect in the world (after dragonflies).
Meadowsweet Spirea’s blossoms offer both nectar and pollen, and they draw in a multitude of pollinators. You may see honey bees, bumblebees, miner bees, masked bees, and sweat bees visiting them, along with butterflies, hoverflies, beneficial wasps, and beetles.
How to Grow
Meadowsweet Spirea is native to wetland areas; likewise, in the landscape it grows most luxuriantly in constantly damp soil. However, this tough plant is surprisingly adaptable, and once established it can handle a fair amount of dryness. Plant it in full sun or light shade. This fast-growing Accent expands steadily via suckers; do not site it near small, delicate plants. Pruning can be accomplished at any time. If Meadowsweet gets unruly or overgrown, you can simply cut it to the ground in early spring, and it will rejuvenate itself quickly.
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