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Native Plant Database

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Spiraea alba (White meadowsweet)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Spiraea alba

Spiraea alba Du Roi

White meadowsweet

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: SPAL2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

This mound-shaped shrub, 3-6 ft. tall and wide, bears numerous, fine-textured, erect, unbranched stems. Deciduous foliage is yellow-green, turning golden-yellow in fall. Tiny white flowers are arranged in conical, terminal spikes. A woody shrub with a dense, pyramidal, terminal cluster of small, white or pale pinkish flowers.

The brown fruit, which persists after flowering, is a distinctive feature of all Spiraea. Although less spectacular than the showy, introduced garden spiraeas, this native species is most suitable for naturalistic landscaping. Virginia Spiraea (S. virginiana), with a rounded, short, broad flower cluster and thin oblong leaves, is found from Ohio and Pennsylvania south to Georgia and Louisiana.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: CT , DC , DE , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: AB , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: S.w. Que. & n.w. VT to Alt., s. to NC & TN mts., IA & SD
Native Habitat: Swamps; wet meadows; shores

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Intermediate.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Spring Azure

Propagation

Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Spiraea alba is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Spring Azure
(Celastrina "ladon" )

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
February 10, 2009
I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go na...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW FACW FACW FACW FACW FACW
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Spiraea alba in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Spiraea alba in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Spiraea alba

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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