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Spiraea thunbergii

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

Spiraea thunbergii, or Breath of Spring Spiraea, is a drought-tolerant, upright, deciduous, flowering shrub that can reach a height of 5 feet and an equal width. The plant grows easily in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun, although it does tolerate light shade, a wide range of soils including clay, and some drought. In its native Asia, it is often found on rocky hillsides. However, it does not tolerate wet soil. To maximize blooming, you should site the plant in a warm, sheltered place where it will obtain full sun. The plant form is loose and fountain-like with wiry, outward-arching branches and tends to be twiggy, so you should prune as needed immediately after flowering to maintain a desired shape. The plant flowers on the previous summer's growth and should be pruned immediately after flowering in order to promote new growth.

Breath of Spring Spiraea is noted for its early spring bloom (April, usually the first spiraea to bloom) of tiny white flowers (each to 1/3” diameter) in 3- to 5-flowered clusters. The narrow, pale green leaves that emerge after the blooms have a willow-like appearance. Foliage turns yellow in fall, with orange and bronze hues.

This is one of several plants whose Latin species thunbergii honors the Swedish botanist and plant collector Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828).

Insects, Diseases, and other Plant Problems:

No 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. There is conflicting data on the level of tolerance the plant has for deer.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Fujino Pink
  • Mount Fuji
  • Ogon
  • Yat Sabusa
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#flowering shrub#long lifespan#fantz#hedge
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Fujino Pink
  • Mount Fuji
  • Ogon
  • Yat Sabusa
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#flowering shrub#long lifespan#fantz#hedge
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Spiraea
    Species:
    thunbergii
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan and China
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Tolerates drought and poor soil
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Dense
    Rounded
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small clusters of white flowers in April. Inflorescence is a sessile umbellate cluster, axillary. Flowers have 5 petals are are less than .5 inch in diameter.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Yellow-green leaves 1 to 1.5 inches long and .25 of an inch wide that turn to bronze with an orange tinge in the fall. The leaves are acuminate to acute, narrowly cuneate, serrulate from apex nearly to base, glaborous, with an extremely short petiole.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are very slender, slightly angled, zig-zag, light brown, and glabrous.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Erosion
    Poor Soil