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Tree Campus: Hardhack, Western Spiraea

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Hardhack/Western Spiraea

Spiraea douglasii (ROSACEAE)



W. North America, Alaska to PNW



"Rose spirea has limited value as livestock forage because of typically dense stands, high water tables, and scarcity of palatable grasses. It is sometimes eaten by livestock in the summer and fall.

In western Washington and Oregon rose spirea is browsed by black-tailed deer...

In Washington a breeding population of long-billed marsh wrens was found nesting in a rose spirea emergent shrub community type. In British Columbia rose spirea is a component of the western hemlock-Sitka spruce habitat type which is important grizzly bear habitat. In Oregon quaking aspen-lodgepole pine/rose spirea/widefruit sedge and lodgepole pine/rose spirea/widefruit sedge habitat types are utilized by livestock for bedding and shade. These two habitat types are also important to deer, elk, and raptors." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

The branches of Spiraea douglasii were used to hang salmon for drying and smoking, and as fiber for brushes and brooms, by the Bella Coola, Thompson, and Lummi Tribes. Among the Lummi Tribe, it was used as an antidiarrheal drug. The Quinault Tribe peeled the stems and used them to string clams for roasting. [2]



"Carlson recommends rose spirea for riparian revegetation programs in the Pacific Northwest. In a black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) riparian community, rose spirea seedlings were planted in the fall of 1980 and had a 27 percent survival rate. In 1988 percent cover of rose spirea had increased. In Oregon rose spirea was propagated as in situ hardwood cuttings (collected and planted on-site the same day) in a Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) community." [1]



[1] Esser, Lora L. 1995. Spiraea douglasii. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

[2] Spiraea douglasii. Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn.

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