Content Detail

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.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Occasional drought
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

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.

Plant care:

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.


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