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and a yellow blossom


Gelbblütiger Fingerstrauch


Pentacon AV 2.8/80

After what seemed like a long winter, the wetland is already coming into flower.

Spiraea douglasii


Viaduct Flats, Saanich, BC


This intensely pink flower has to be confusing to bees and butterflies with its hundreds of blossoms and thousands of stamens. Little chance of a potential pollinator getting away with a free lunch here.

Most of the plants in the wetland lake are deciduous and look dead in the winter. That's hardhack, Spiraea douglasii, which is just coming into flower.

The water level is below my waterproof boots in this area. The first time that I've got past the hardhack this year. The hardhack circles the deep part of the lake.

golden hardhack (Dasiphora fruticosa)





golden hardhack (Dasiphora fruticosa)





The shallow waters by the little peninsula that extends into the wetland lake.

Howard Co. Conservancy Bio Blitz

Woodstock, Ellicott City Quad, Howard County, MD

12 August 2017

I'm standing in the hardhack, the ground is drying out in this area. Still, lots of water in the soil.

Hardhack (Spiraea Douglasii), also known as "steeple bush". Native to the Pacific Northwest.




Bradley Lake, Puyallup, WA | July 2009.



Everything in the wetland is flowering, except for the grasses. The water from the winter is still fairy deep. We won't have any real rain until the fall, the wetland shouldn't dry out this summer.

Wild Grapes


What tree may not the fig be gathered from?

The grape may not be gathered from the birch?

It's all you know the grape, or know the birch.

As a girl gathered from the birch myself

Equally with my weight in grapes, one autumn,

I ought to know what tree the grape is fruit of.

I was born, I suppose, like anyone,

And grew to be a little boyish girl

My brother could not always leave at home.

But that beginning was wiped out in fear

The day I swung suspended with the grapes,

And was come after like Eurydice

And brought down safely from the upper regions;

And the life I live now's an extra life

I can waste as I please on whom I please.

So if you see me celebrate two birthdays,

And give myself out of two different ages,

One of them five years younger than I look.


One day my brother led me to a glade

Where a white birch he knew of stood alone,

Wearing a thin head-dress of pointed leaves,

And heavy on her heavy hair behind,

Against her neck, an ornament of grapes.

Grapes, I knew grapes from having seen them last year.

One bunch of them, and there began to be

Bunches all round me growing in white birches,

The way they grew round Leif the Lucky's German;

Mostly as much beyond my lifted hands, though,

As the moon used to seem when I was younger,

And only freely to be had for climbing.

My brother did the climbing; and at first

Threw me down grapes to miss and scatter

And have to hunt for in sweet fern and hardhack;

Which gave him some time to himself to eat,

But not so much, perhaps, as a boy needed.

So then, to make me wholly self-supporting,

He climbed still higher and bent the tree to earth

And put it in my hands to pick my own grapes.

"Here, take a tree-top, I'll get down another.

Hold on with all your might when I let go."

I said I had the tree. It wasn't true.

The opposite was true. The tree had me.

The minute it was left with me alone

It caught me up as if I were the fish

And it the fishpole. So I was translated

To loud cries from my brother of "Let go!

Don't you know anything, you girl? Let go!"

But I, with something of the baby grip

Acquired ancestrally in just such trees

When wilder mothers than our wildest now

Hung babies out on branches by the hands

To dry or wash or tan, I don't know which,

(You'll have to ask an evolutionist).

I held on uncomplainingly for life.

My brother tried to make me laugh to help me.

"What are you doing up there in those grapes?

Don't be afraid. A few of them won't hurt you.

I mean, they won't pick you if you don't them."

Much danger of my picking anything!

By that time I was pretty well reduced

To a philosophy of hang-and-let-hang.

"Now you know how it feels," my brother said,

"To be a bunch of fox-grapes, as they call them,

That when it thinks it has escaped the fox

By growing where it shouldn't on a birch,

Where a fox wouldn't think to look for it.

And if he looked and found it, couldn't reach it.

Just then come you and I to gather it.

Only you have the advantage of the grapes

In one way: you have one more stem to cling by,

And promise more resistance to the picker."


One by one I lost off my hat and shoes,

And still I clung. I let my head fall back,

And shut my eyes against the sun, my ears

Against my brother's nonsense; "Drop," he said,

"I'll catch you in my arms. It isn't far."

(Stated in lengths of him it might not be.)

"Drop or I'll shake the tree and shake you down."

Grim silence on my part as I sank lower,

My small wrists stretching till they showed the banjo strings.

Why, if she isn't serious about it!

Hold tight awhile till I think what to do.

I'll bend the tree down and let you down by it.

I don't know much about the letting down;

But once I felt ground with my stocking feet

And the world came revolving back to me,

I know I looked long at my curled-up fingers,

Before I straightened them and brushed the bark off.

My brother said: "Don't you weigh anything?

Try to weigh something next time, so you won't

Be run off with by birch trees into space."


It wasn't my not weighing anything

So much as my not knowing anything

My brother had been nearer right before.

I had not taken the first step in knowledge;

I had not learned to let go with the hands,

As still I have not learned to with the heart,

And have no wish to with the heart nor need,

That I can see. The mind is not the heart.

I may yet live, as I know others live,

To wish in vain to let go with the mind

Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me

That I need learn to let go with the heart.


- Robert Frost

Wetland plants,Spiraea douglasii fills most of the lake, to the trees.


Spiraea douglasii—Douglas spiraea. Spiraea douglasii is a rhizomatous, deciduous shrub that grows in the northern Sierra Nevada and North Coast Ranges thence north to Alaska and eastwards to Montana. It can form nearly impenetrable stands in freshwater marshes and bogs. The species provides nesting sites for both birds and bears. This spiraea grows well in gardens. Photographed at Regional Parks Botanic Garden located in Tilden Regional Parks near Berkeley, CA

Spiraea tomentosa, native to eastern USA and Canada

Shrubby Cinquefoil is a very common plant here. I always think it has quite a pretty flower centre. Actual flower is much smaller than seen here, of course : ) Seen at Jim Coutts' homestead, just north east of Nanton, south of Calgary.

Red alders seen through hardhack (spirea).

Common Name(s): Douglas Spirea; Pink Spirea; Rose Spirea, Steeplebush, Hardhack.


Scientific Name: Spiraea douglasii. Spiraea comes from the Greek word, speira, which refers to wreaths, or garlands. It is for this reason that species of spirea are often referred to as bridal-wreath shrubs. Douglasii was named after the Scottish botanist David Douglas.

Hardhack - " It is native to western North America from Alaska across southwestern Canada and the Pacific Northwest. It occurs most often in riparian habitat types, such as swamps, streambanks, bogs and mudflats.[1] It grows among sedges, horsetails, wild blueberries, and other swamp flora.[1] The plant is a woolly shrub growing 1 to 2 meters tall from rhizomes, forming dense riverside thickets.[1] Large clusters of small pink flowers form spires in early summer, later turning dark and persisting. The leaves are toothed toward the tips." - Wikipedia


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Steeplebush or hardhack, Spiraea tomentosa. Doesn't look much like a bush, but it is a woody perennial. We have a dozen or so growing around the pond.

Now that summer's here, some of the spring flowers are gone but a new crop of blossoms is bringing colour along the shores


In this ollection are: Pink Spiraea, Yarrow, St-Johns Wort, Purple Loosestrife, Ornamental Thistle, macro of Buddleja (Butterfly Bush), Hardhack (Spiraea douglasii), and Wild Morning Glory (Convolvulus arvensis)

Identifier: wildflowerswhere00harr

Title: Wild flowers and where they grow

Year: 1882 (1880s)

Authors: Harris, Amanda Bartlett, 1824- Humphrey, Lizbeth Bullock, b. 1841

Subjects: Botany

Publisher: Boston : D. Lothrop and Company

Contributing Library: The Library of Congress

Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress


View Book Page: Book Viewer

About This Book: Catalog Entry

View All Images: All Images From Book


Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.


Text Appearing Before Image:

by boulders, bossed with gray-green lichens. Here andthere out of the short grass showed ledges, whose fissureswere adorned with mosses in helmet and hood of scarlet; andaround their warm basses ripened the largest checkerberries,and sometimes a few bunches of strawberries, of flavor mostdelectable—the condensed aroma of strawberry was in them. No monotony in that pasture, with its ups and downs, itsslopes and hollows. It was sterile in some parts, luxuriantin others; open, shaded, dry, wet; a warm wood at the east,and a cold one at the north ; home of many wild flowers. And there was one exotic, a sweet briar — the eglantine ofthe poets. It was like a bit of romance to see it there; totouch the leaves and make them give out that bewitchingfragrance; and each June to gather the lovely single roses,whose perfume is the purest attar, and whose petals are sodeftly tipped and tinted with carmine. How it came there noone knew ; but we liked to think that the young wife of the Zp£ ...


Text Appearing After Image:

EGLANTINE. THE PASTURE. 83 settler had brought a slip from her home in the old colony,and set it out in the clearing in the wilderness. The pasture had several small bogs where were bulrushesand flags, and the sphagnum moss was so rank that you sankinto it ankle deep. Yellow water lilies grew in two of them,and button-balls, and the cotton-grass, whose airy tufts causedthe places to look in September as if a flurry of snow hadfallen. It had reedy pools between little grassy hummocksskirted with hardhack, and there bloomed the exquisite flowersof the blue flag. And there was a lovely, cool green hollow,which had a season of special beauty when the crimson whorlsof the sheep-laurel (lamb-kill) made it like a rosy festivaltime. A grassy road wound from the pasture bars, by many aturn, away down to the swamp from whence the wintersupply of wood was drawn. Always under the shade of treesand through pleasant places went this sled-path, bordered byberry-spotted banks and knobs of gray granit


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Potentilla fruticosa


Shrubby Cinquefoil, Yellow Rose

Shrubby cinquefoil is a popular ornamental plant in temperate regions.


La potentille frutescente

La Potentille frutescente ou la Potentille arbustive (Dasiphora fruticosa) est une plante vivace de la famille des Rosaceae.




Die Pflanzengattung der Fingerkräuter (Potentilla) gehört zur Familie der Rosengewächse (Rosaceae) und umfasst etwa 300 bis 500 Arten.


Der Name leitet sich aus der Tatsache ab, dass bei vielen Arten die Blätter fünfzählig gefingert sind.

Dies schlägt sich auch in anderen Sprachen nieder.

Das französische cinque feuilles,

das englische cinquefoil und das lateinische quinquefolium bedeuten „fünf Blätter“.

Il Cinquefoglia (nome scientifico : Potentilla )


Common names include shrubby cinquefoil, golden hardhack, bush cinquefoil, shrubby five-finger, tundra rose,[citation needed] and widdy.


Dasiphora fruticosa

(syn. Potentilla fruticosa L., Pentaphylloides fruticosa (L.) O.Schwarz) is a disputed Name.

It is a species of hardy deciduous flowering shrub in the genus Dasiphora (formerly Potentilla) of the family Rosaceae,.


The vast majority of sellers and gardeners still use the old name Potentilla fruticosa.

Taken at Maplewood Conservation Area, North Vancouver, British Columbia, CA.


One of my favourite summer blooms.View large to see the intricacy of this flower.


Better On Black

Down in the wetland, in the hardhack.

The shallower parts of the wetland lake is dominated by Spiraea douglasii, commonly known as hardhack. Hardhack needs a very moist ground, much of the year it's standing in water, in the summer it's some of degree of mud.

Flowering hardhack near Beaver Lake in Stanley Park.


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Spiraea douglasii actually. Most of the wetland lake is dominated by this plant. It needs a moist place to thrive. Much of the year it is standing in water. Through the summer the ground is still saturated to some degree.

The wetland is very healthy and happy still, middle of August this year. After the heavy rains last winter the fall rains will probably fill the lake early, the wetland is still very wet.

Not too uncommon to see these lovely and unusual flower stalks growing wild in shrubs along the path/trail. No idea what they are.


Update: Thank you "Dragonflydreams88" for the I.D. - Spiraea douglassi, or hardhack. Much appreciated.

Grass is everywhere in the wetland, but this is the only spot that it dominates, so far this year.

Spaulding Fen

Wisconsin State Natural Area #636


Jackson County

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