The large, fleecy pyramids of delicate, pink-tinted white flowers of this pretty maid-of-the-mist enlighten the rank growths peculiar to low, moist situations, from June to August. Its smooth, tough, leafy, yellowish brown stalk grows from two to four feet high and is often branching at the top. The closely set alternating leaves are oval or oblong, with pointed tips and finely toothed margins. They are rather firm-textured, nearly smooth, and short-stemmed. The dainty little flowers have five slightly curved and rounding petals and many rosy stamens, which project and lend a feathery appearance. They are densely clustered on terminal spires. These blossoms have a slight odour but they are not at all fragrant, and in this respect the name of Meadow-sweet is misleading, although it does apply to the simple attractiveness of the plant. This species is found from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains, and south to Georgia and Missouri; also in Europe and Asia. Spiraea, derived from speria, meaning band or wreath, is an ancient Greek name of a plant used for garlands.
MEADOW-SWEET. Spiraea salicifolia.