Herb: Hardhack


Latin name: Spiraea tomentosa


Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Medicinal use of Hardhack:

The flowers give feebly the medicinal action of salicylic acid (aspirin) and are used in decoction for their diuretic and tonic effect. An infusion of the flowers is used as an astringent. An infusion of the leaves can be used in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the flowers and the leaves has been used to counteract the sickness of pregnancy and also to facilitate childbirth. The roots are astringent and have been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. An infusion of the leaves is also used.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
150 cm
(5 feet)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Fields and pastures in N. America. Swamps and low ground.

Propagation of Hardhack:

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame if possible. It is likely to require stratification before it germinates, so stored seed should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as you receive it. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a light sandy soil a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, 15cm long, October/November in an outdoor frame. Another report says that September is a good time to do this. Division of suckers in early spring. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Fields and pastures in N. America. Swamps and low ground.

Known hazards of Spiraea tomentosa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.