Meadowsweet (Spiraea alba) in the Spiraeas Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Meadowsweet
Give a thumbs up White Meadowsweet
Give a thumbs up Narrow-Leaved Meadowsweet
Give a thumbs up Quaker Lady

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 3 to 6 feet
Plant Spread: 4 to 8 feet and more from suckering
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Other: dry brown capsules in clusters of 5 in conical terminal clusters
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Winter
Flowers: Showy
Other: slightly fragrant
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: 6"-12"
Flower Time: Summer
Inflorescence Height: 6 to 12 inches
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Uses: Erosion control
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Resistances: Flood Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: can dry seed and cold stratify for a month or more
Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies
Bumblebees
Bees
Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

a small mass or colony at Meadow Lake

Photo gallery:
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2018-08-22a small mass or colony at Meadow Lake
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: July 2005shrub in bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: Romeoville, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18close-up of flowers and foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18close-up of flower clusters
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18close-up of white flower spikes
By ILPARW
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-07-07newly planted from a 1 or 2 gallon pot
By ILPARW
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Location: Romeoville, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18shrub in bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18full-grown shrub in bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2015-06-19old expanding shrub just before bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2015-06-19first flower cluster bloom on expanding mound
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-02-18the brown dry fruit in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-06-22upright plant in middle of bed beginning with white flowers
By ILPARW
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Location: WayneDate: 2019-06-22foliage of narrow leaves
By ILPARW
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-06-22upper plant in early bloom
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 13, 2017 6:06 PM

Spiraea alba, the Narrowleaf Meadowsweet Spirea, is sort of an upright shrub, even though it will eventually spread by underground roots to become a small, wide colony. It usually is about 4 to 6 feet high with bluish-green leaves to about 3 inches long x 3/4 inch wide. The twigs are light brown and can be hairy. It bears white, erect, pyramidal clusters about 2 to 12 inches long in late June and July, and in August way up in its northern range. In nature it grows in bogs, dunes, meadows, forest openings, roadside ditches, along streams and creeks and along ponds and lakes from central Alberta & Saskatchewan through southern Ontario and a little of nearby Quebec, western New York, most of Pennsylvania & New Jersey, down the Appalachians to north Georgia, much of Ohio & Indiana & Illinois, & Iowa, spots in Missouri, and all of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and some of North Dakota. It likes draining wet to moist soils. It has a dense fibrous root system where it will spread by ground suckering and it is easy to transplant. It grows well in the average landscape. Some native plant and specialty nurseries sell it; I have never seen it offered in conventional nurseries. I've only seen it at arboretums, some parks, and places with an emphasis on native plants. Otherwise, all the spireas in landscapes are east Asian species. In mid-May 2018 I bought three specimens of Spiraea alba in 2 gallon pots from Redbud Native Plant nursery in Media, PA. I planted one specimen in my backyard and two specimens at a church landscape I manage, and they are growing a little this first season and should sprout larger next year.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Steeplebush Spirea, Spiraea tomentosa by ILPARW Nov 14, 2018 8:26 AM 3
Spiraea alba? by sooby Aug 24, 2017 2:21 PM 12

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