Hardy, early summer-flowering perennial
Description: Clusters of fragrant, creamy white flowers on stalks held well above the clumps of inversely lance-shaped leaves
Habit: Grows 3 to 5 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide
Culture: Prefers evenly moist, rich soil and full sun to partial shade
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 through 9
Attributes: Attracts bees, Fragrant flowers and foliage, Rain garden, Deer and rabbit resistant
This European native perennial was the favorite "strewing herb" of Elizabeth I, and was a traditional treatment for coughs and colds. A strewing herb was one that was cut and laid in walkways, where it would dry and give off a pleasant fragrance. It was also listed by American nurseryman Bernard McMahon in his 1804 broadsheet catalogue, where it was called Spiraea ulmaria. The single form is seldom seen in gardens today, having been largely replaced by the double-flowered form. Netlje Blanchan wrote in The American Flower Garden (1913) that it is "excellent for wild effects".