With attractive foliage and a graceful habit, these hardy, deciduous flowering shrubs belong to the Rose family, and are easily grown in any fertile, somewhat moisture-retentive garden soil.
Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor’ (S-0753)
Unique among Spireas for its petite oval-shaped Birch-like leaves, ‘Tor’s tightknit orderly mounds make a reflective deep green foil for clustered purplish buds and a profusion of sprightly snow-white blooms that charm the butterflies. Autumn brings additional enticements when the refined foliage premieres orange, red and purple colors. Employed as a mixed border or rockery specimen, or planted en masse along pathways and foundations, this compact deciduous shrub fancies sunshine and periodic pruning. It combines well with silver-dappled Pulmonarias or Carex testacea, which provide compelling foliar contrast.
Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.
An unsung heirloom hero that dates back to 1881, this diminutive darling deserves more attention. Close-knit twiggy growth clad in tiny crinkled dark green deciduous leaves sculpts a compact, yet broad tailored foundation with big clusters of lipstick pretty, deep rosy crimson flowers. Undemanding ‘Bullata’ is custom-made for patio containers, a rock garden or the front lines, either in a border or along a path.
Size: 16" – 2' 0" high x 20" – 2-1/2' wide.
Hardy to zone 4.
Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ (S-0572)
Among the first shrubs to bloom, ‘Ogon’s dainty, 5-petaled white flowers are arranged in abundant clusters along its wiry bare branches. Later, small and slender Willow-like foliage attires the numerous dark twigs. Illuminated in golden shades, this fine textured Japanese selection conveys a bright wispy presence in the midst of blue-flowering Geranium ‘Nimbus’, Ceanothus ‘Gloire de Versailles’ and Euphorbias.
Size: 4' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 5.
This well-loved sturdy shrub has been delivering reliable spring flowers since 1868, when it was first introduced by the French shrub enthusiast and nurserymen Joseph Billard. Dense clustered umbels of tiny white blooms fashion a scintillating mantle that nearly conceals the copious gracefully arching branches. Spiraea x vanhouttei’s shapely medium-sized habit hosts small rhomboid-shaped green deciduous leaves with coarsely serrated margins and yellow or violet autumn hues. A cross between S. trilobata and S. cantoniensis, Bridalwreath makes an ideal low-maintenance addition to foundation plantings as well as sunny woodland margins and mixed borders, where it can be grouped or planted as a prominent specimen amid perennials and grasses.
Size: 5' 0" – 8' 0" high x 5' 0" – 8' 0" wide.