from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A woody plant (Spiraea tomentosa) of eastern North America, having leaves with rusty down on the undersides and spikelike clusters of small, rose-purple flowers. Also called steeplebush.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A plant, the steeplebush.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A very astringent shrub (Spiræa tomentosa), common in pastures. The Potentilla fruticosa is also called by this name.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A low shrub, Spiræa tomentosa, with woolly leaves and pods, and dense terminal panicles of rose-colored or white flowers. Also called steeplebush.
- n. The hop-hornbeam, Ostrya Virginiana.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
By the time I got back up the hill he had three saplings—the two hardhack runners plus a straight young ash, destined to be our tongue—felled and limbed.
We were looking for hardhack, the local name for hop hornbeam, a heavy, dense hardwood that wears extremely well and is, according to Mr. Owens, the very best material from which to make a jumper.
In the machine shop, we bound the hardhack runners to wooden braces and decked them over with pine boards to make a sturdy platform, six feet by eight.
For dessert they had chestnuts, beech-nuts, and butternuts, and for drink they used the checkerberry and hardhack, but mostly they used mountain tea and swamp chocolate-root; these two last-named articles nearly resembled those brought from foreign countries.
It was something foreign, grotesque, and picturesque in a life of the most matter-of-fact sameness; it was even as if one should see clusters of palm-trees scattered here and there among Yankee wooden meeting-houses, or open one's eyes on clumps of yellow-striped aloes growing among hardhack and huckleberry bushes in the pastures.
Once they drew their canoe up to the bank of Sunasquam Water, a stream walled in by the dense green of the hardhack.
Some of the time he could hardly see the narrow sidewalk path between the dusty meadowsweet and hardhack bushes, since those floating black threads wove together into a veritable veil before him.
Beyond the pine woods, in the patch of sunny road bordered by dust-covered hardhack and elder, she paused for a moment, to dash the tears from her eyes.
Dried pumpkin was a poor sweetening instead of molasses; maple sugar and honey were not esteemed as was sugar; tea was ill-replaced by raspberry leaves, loosestrife, hardhack, goldenrod, dittany, blackberry leaves, yeopon, sage, and a score of other herbs; coffee was better than parched rye and chestnuts; spices could not be compensated for or remotely imitated by any substitutes.
I have known a pair of bluebirds to brave them on such poor rations as are afforded by the hardhack or sugarberry, -- a drupe the size of a small pea, with a thin, sweet skin.