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Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon'

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
spy-REE-ah thun-BER-jee-eye
Description

'Ogon' or Golden Thunberg's spirea is a cultivar of baby's breath spirea and is an ornamental woody deciduous shrub with three-season foliage interest. Tiny, white flowers appear in the spring before the leaves. The leaves are narrow, lanceolate, golden yellow in the spring, and become yellowish-green in the late summer.  The shades of orange or pinkish-orange foliage appear in the fall. The shrub is upright, multi-stemmed, willowy, and has arching branches. This cultivar is a member of the Rosaceae or rose family.

The genus name, Spiraea, is derived from the Greek word, speira, which means "wreath." This refers to the showy white flowers that are characteristic of most shrubs in this genus. The species name, thunbergii, honors the Swedish botanist, Carl Peter Thunberg.

For the vibrant golden foliage and abundant flowers in the spring, it is best to plant this cultivar in full sun. In partial shade, the foliage appears more chartreuse. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and becomes more drought tolerant when established. The shrub will become twiggy and will need pruning to help maintains its shape and appearance. Pruning is best done after the blooms have faded.  Rabbits and deer are not usually bothersome.

'Ogon' should be considered for its unusual three-season foliage color as well as its tiny white flowers in the spring. It may be used as a hedge, screening, or windbreak. It may also be considered as a foundation, border planting, or specimen.

Seasons of Interest:

Blooms:  Spring       Foliage:  Spring, Summer, and Fall

Quick ID Hints:

  • dense, upright, twiggy, arching deciduous shrub
  • narrow, lanceolate to linear, serrated golden yellow leaves in the spring to yellowish-green late summer
  • fall foliage shades of orange or pinkish-orange
  • tiny, white flowers arranged on short shoots bloom in the spring before leaves emerge

Pests, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This shrub has no serious insect or disease problems. Aphids, leaf roller, and scale can occur. It may be also susceptible to leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew, and root rot.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

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Tags:
#arching#showy flowers#deciduous#full sun tolerant#specimen#white flowers#deciduous shrub#showy leaves#colorful leaves#yellow leaves#low maintenance#spring flowers#rabbit resistant#interesting leaves#flowering shrub#deer resistant#foundation planting#border planting#butterfly friendly#woodland garden#dense growth#fall color#wiry stems#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#arching#showy flowers#deciduous#full sun tolerant#specimen#white flowers#deciduous shrub#showy leaves#colorful leaves#yellow leaves#low maintenance#spring flowers#rabbit resistant#interesting leaves#flowering shrub#deer resistant#foundation planting#border planting#butterfly friendly#woodland garden#dense growth#fall color#wiry stems#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Spiraea
    Species:
    thunbergii
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies and various insects.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Screening
    Wind Break
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The blooms are single, small, white flowers that measure less than 1/3 inch in diameter. They appear in 3 to 5 umbellate clusters. They bloom in April before the foliage emerges and have shorter shoots than Garland Spirea.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Pink
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves of this cultivar are yellowish in the spring and become greenish-yellow later in the summer. Fall foliage appears in shades of orange. The leaves are lanceolate to linear with serrate margins. They measure 1 to 1.5 inches long and about 0.25 inches wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits