Time of bloom: June to August.
Seed-time: August to October.
Range: Eastern North America from Newfoundland to Virginia.
Habitat: Rocky pastures, roadsides, and waste places.
A handsome shrub which seems to have a preference for hillside pastures, where it spreads its kind undisturbed by grazing animals, as they dislike its astringent, bitter taste.
Stems two to four feet tall, with smooth, reddish or purplish brown bark, simple or branching near the top. Leaves alternate, thin, smooth, dark green, nearly an inch broad and three times as long, rather coarsely toothed, obtuse, and narrowing somewhat abruptly to a short petiole. Flowers in dense terminal panicles, very small, white or pale pink, with little or no fragrance in spite of the name; calyx short, five-cleft, persistent, nearly smooth; the five petals obovate and equal; stamens many; pistils usually five, superior, alternate with the calyx lobes. The blossoms open from the summit downward, and as the season advances the plume-like clusters begin to turn brown at the top. Seeds minute, in five small, smooth, brown, style-tipped follicles. (Fig. 145.)
Yearling shoots are easily and quickly hand-pulled when the ground is soft, but if left to sink their woody roots into the soil they require to be grubbed out. Seeding may be prevented and root-growth checked by close cutting in the hot "wood-sere" days of July and early August
Fig. 145. -Meadow-sweet (Spiroea latifolia).