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Spiraea prunifolia

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
spy-REE-ah proo-ni-FOH-lee-uh
Description

Spiraea prunifolia, or Bridal Wreath Spiraea, is a drought-tolerant, flowering, deciduous shrub that grows to 9 feet high and 8 feet wide. It tends to be twiggy in form, loose and fountain-like. The plant is easily grown in average, medium moisture, in well-drained soils, and does its best flowering when sited in full sun. It will tolerate light shade, a wide range of soils including clay, deer, and some drought. In its native China, the plant is often found on sunny hillsides or stony, barren places. Because it is an upright, arching shrub that can become leggy, you may want to prune as needed immediately after flowering. On the other hand, if left alone Bridal Wreath Spirea grows into what some consider a graceful, open, arching shrub with branches drooping all the way to the ground. Whether it is leggy or elegant, seems to be a matter of taste.

Bridal Wreath is noted for its early spring bloom of double white flowers that appear in profusion along the bare branches. The pure white flowers are born in long sprays that can be fashioned into wreaths and worn on the head for a special occasion, hence the name.The foliage appears after the blooms as small, shiny dark green leaves. Foliage often develops an attractive red-orange-yellow fall color.

S. prunifolia ‘Plena’ is the long-favored Bridal Wreath usually found in retail. Species plants as well as the single-flowered plant (Spiraea prunifolia var. simpliciflora) are generally not available. Note that the double-flowered plant was botanically described prior in time to the single-flowered plant, hence the double flower became the species and the single flower became a variety or form of the species. 

Insects, Diseases, and other Plant Problems:

This is an extremely durable shrub with no known serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to many of the diseases and insects that attack other rose family members, including leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew, root rot, aphids, leaf roller and scale.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Backyard Patio
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Plena
Plena
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#flowering shrub#shrub border#fantz#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Plena
Plena
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#flowering shrub#shrub border#fantz#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Spiraea
    Species:
    prunifolia
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern China
    Wildlife Value:
    Blossoms attract butterflies.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 9 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    4-5 petals/rays
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The inflorescence is a sessile umbellate cluster, axillary. Flowers are white, double, and about a 1/3 of an inch in diameter with 3-6 flowered clusters (stalkless corymbs). Blooms in March and April.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Denticulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are acute and denticulate. They are glabrous above and downy gray beneath. Lustrous blue-green leaves 1 to 2 inches long that turn yellow-orange to purplish bronze in the fall if sited in full sun.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are slender, zig-zag, shiny brown, and glabrous.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought