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Spiraea septentrionalis (Fern.) A. & D. Löve

Northern Meadow-Sweet

Habitat: Alpine areas of Mt. Katahdin [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Labrador south to Maine, mountains of Virginia and north to Michigan.

Aids to Identification: Members of the genus Spiraea are recognized by their simple, alternate leaves; small, white, 5-petaled flowers in terminal panicles; and dry capsules. Northern meadowsweet is very similar to our common meadowsweet, S. alba var. latifolia which grows in open, moist areas. Northern meadowsweet differs in being predominantly an alpine plant in Maine and having a much denser and smaller inflorescence.

Ecological characteristics: Found in the alpine areas of Mt. Katahdin.

Phenology: Flowering and fruiting July through September.

Family: Rosaceae

Synonyms: Formerly known as Spiraea latifolia (Ait.) Borkh. var. septentrionalis Fern., Spiraea alba var. septentrionalis (Fern.) Seymour.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 2 towns in the following counties: Franklin, Piscataquis.

Dates of documented observations are: 1966, 1967 (3), 2000

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern edge of range, scarcity of habitat.

Conservation considerations: The population on Mt. Katahdin is located near a remote pond and is not easily accessible.