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Spiraea alba (White Meadowsweet)

White Meadowsweet, Narrow-leaf Meadowsweet, Eastern Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet, Spiraea alba DuRoi

Spiraea alba, White Meadowsweet, White Flowers, Spiraea alba Du Roi
Spiraea alba, White Meadowsweet, White Flowers, Spiraea alba Du Roi

Spiraea alba (White Meadowsweet) is a woody deciduous shrub bearing erect, unbranched stems clad with narrow, sharply serrated, medium green leaves. The foliage turns golden-yellow in fall. In early summer to early fall, dense pyramidal clusters, 3-4 in. long (7-10 cm), packed with tiny white or pale pinkish flowers, appear at the tips of the branches. Blooming for about 1-2 months, the flowers produce nectar and pollen, which attract bees, bumblebees, moths, and other pollinating insects. The blossoms are followed by fruits that contain 5 pods-shaped follicles, which burst open in the fall, thus allowing the seeds to disperse. Birds feast on them during the fall and winter. White Meadowsweet is typically found in wet prairies and along the edges of streams, marshes, or bogs. White Meadowsweet is most suitable for naturalistic landscaping. It also does well in cottage gardens where it can grow in full sun yet have its feet wet or moist.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall and wide (90-120 cm).
  • A full sun lover, this plant is easily grown in average, acidic, medium to wet soils. Tolerates part shade. Standing water can be tolerated if temporary.
  • Perfect choice for beds and borders, cottage gardens, along ponds and streams, water gardens, or bog gardens.
  • Attracts birds and butterflies but is ignored by deer.
  • No serious pest and disease problems. Keep an eye out for leaf spot, fireblight, powdery mildew, rots, aphids, leaf roller, and scale.
  • Remove spent flower clusters to promote additional bloom.
  • Winter pruning could improve its form and encourage use in more formal gardens.
  • Propagate with hardwood cuttings.
  • A native of the eastern and midwestern United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Spiraea
Common names Spirea
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spacing 36" - 48"
(90cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Midwest, Iowa, Southeast, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Spiraea japonica (Japanese Spirea)
Spiraea betulifolia (Birchleaf Spirea)
Spiraea splendens (Rose Meadowsweet)
Spiraea tomentosa (Steeplebush)
Spiraea × vanhouttei ‘Pink Ice’ (Vanhoutte Spirea)
Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor Gold’ (Birchleaf Spirea)

Recommended Companion Plants

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey Tea)
Cornus racemosa (Gray Dogwood)
Cornus sericea (Red Osier Dogwood)
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Pure White Flowers for a Touch of Elegance in Your Garden
45 Terrific Shrubs for Stunning Container Gardens
Add a Splash of Color: Perfect Flowering Shrubs for Small Gardens
35 Flowering Shrubs That Thrive in Full Sun
Native Plant Alternatives to Spiraea japonica (Japanese Spirea)
Native Plant Alternatives to Spiraea prunifolia (Bridal Wreath)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Spiraea
Common names Spirea
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spacing 36" - 48"
(90cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Midwest, Iowa, Southeast, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky
Tolerance Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
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Spiraea (Spirea)
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