Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Jumble of Spiraeas

Botanically, they're spiraea; the common name is spelled Spirea without the extra 'a' -- Bridal Wreath Spirea.

Starting with the summer spiraeas, which caused me to think of this post, is Spiraea japonica and its hybrids, Spiraea x bulmalda. All are low summer bloomers with pink flowers. 'Goldmound' 'Goldflame'
'Limemound' 'Anthony Waterer' and 'Coccinea' are a few familiar names. I pruned my S. bulmaldas, nameless cuttings given me some years ago, and stuck a few pieces to see if they would root this time of year.

Now to the spring bloomers which were here before I came here:
S. prunifolia -- 'Bridal Wreath' double flowers like little white roses, dark green leaves turn yellow or reddish brown in fall
S. thunbergii -- 'Baby's Breath' a smaller shrub with single white flowers all along bare branches in early spring. Leaves are blue-green and rounder, turning reddish in fall.
S. vanhouttei -- single blooms on clusters on arching brances. Dark green foliage, yellow in fall.

There are perhaps 80-100 cultivars of Spiraea, these are the ones I grow. They are most spectacular if pulled up with the tractor and divided and planted as a long hedge, perhaps with azaleas for the few days of spring fairyland these shrubs provide.

I am taking longer looks as less popular shrubs like philadelphus (Mock Orange) which follows dogwoods and puts on a more lengthy show, blooming for weeks instead of days following the azalea/dogwood display.


  1. I have some 'Limemound' spirea that I cut back to the ground last spring because they were so overgrown. They came back quickly and with a nice shape. But I agree, there are shrubs like Mockorange that bloom for a longer period of time that should be considred for the landscape, too.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. I don't have to worry about the azalea/dogwood display, since I can't grow either. I tried azaleas once, they ALL promptly died. We have very alkaline soil here, and nothing that prefers an acid soil does well. For me, at least...

    My beautiful pink spirea is beautiful. It is not blooming now, but has wonderful foliage, and I can't wait to see it bloom again. It bloomed a long time last year.

  3. Spireas are one of my favorites. They are the perfect size for tucking into a cottage garden. I have them as part of my foundation plantings also. Love the Bridal Wreath and double forms of that too!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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