Oriental spirea is a small, rounded shrub reaching 3 to 5 feet high. White, umbel-like flower clusters appear in May followed by dark green leaves. Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Use en masse or in a mixed shrub border. Cultivars are more popular in the nursery trade.
Size and form:
Oriental spirea is an upright, mounded shrub reaching 3 to 5 feet high.
Native geographic location and habitat:
It is native to eastern Europe, Asia, Japan, Siberia, China, and Korea. It is found in mixed woods and on rocky alpine and grassy slopes.
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:
Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to it.
Bark color and texture:
Oriental spirea has slender, brown stems.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color:
Alternate, narrow 1 to 2 inches long leaves, with a slight toothed margin toward the tip. Leaves do not have any significant fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size:
Flattened clusters (racemes) of tiny white flowers at the tip of branches in May and June.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:
It produces a dry brown follicle that is not showy.
Oriental spirea grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soils, preferring organic rich, fertile soil with even moisture. It flowers on old wood and should be pruned immediately after flowering if needed. This shrub benefits from a layer of organic mulch to conserve moisture and moderate soil temperature fluctuation.
List of pests, diseases and tolerances:
As with any rose family member, it can be prone to leaf spots, powdery mildew, root rot in wet soil. It is resistant to deer and air pollution.
Snow Storm™ Oriental spirea (Spiraea media ‘Darsnorm’):
A mounded, 3 to 5 feet high and wide shrub with blue-green foliage and large clusters of dome-shaped white flowers.