Content Detail

A large, old-fashioned shrub with arching, fountain-like stems. Very showy clusters of white flowers appear along the branches and brighten a spring landscape. Best used en masse, at the back of a shrub border, or as a screen.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances clay soil, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early spring, mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Arching, Multi-stemmed, Vase-shaped
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

Native geographic location and habitat:

Bridal wreath is a hybrid cross between Threelobe spirea (Spiraea trilobata)  and Reeve’s spirea (Spiraea cantoniensis).

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Birds, hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Bark color and texture:

Smooth, thin, brown fountain-like stems arch from the base of the plant.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Alternate, simple leaves up to 3/4 inch long and 1 1/2 inches wide, have three to five lobes, pointed leaf tips, and irregular teeth margins. Dark blue-green color changes to an inconsistent reddish-yellow in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Showy, small 1 to 2 inch clusters (umbels) of white flowers bloom in April and May. Flowers on old wood at the tip of branches.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Dry, brown follicle persistent through winter, but is not showy.

Plant care:

This hardy shrub needs full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Prune to maintain size. Bridal wreath flowers on old wood so prune after flowering if shaping is needed. It is shallow-rooted and benefits from a layer of organic mulch to moderate soil temperature fluctuations and hold moisture.  

List of pests and diseases:

Bridal wreath is susceptible to leaf spots, fire blight, and mildew.  It is resistant to deer, rabbit and salt.


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