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

Image
Common names
  • Meadowsweet
  • Quaker Lady
  • White Meadowsweet
  • Narrow-Leaved Meadowsweet

Photo Gallery
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2022-06-26
full-grown shrub in bloom surrounded by native meadow forbs
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-11-08
mature shrub with yellow fall color
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-11-08
leaves in yellow fall color
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2018-08-22
a small mass or colony at Meadow Lake
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2021-06-19
flowers & leaves and two bumblebees
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-07-07
newly planted from a 1 or 2 gallon pot
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2016-07-18
close-up of white flower spikes
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: July 2005
shrub in bloom
Location: Romeoville, Illinois
Date: 2016-07-18
close-up of flowers and foliage
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2016-07-18
close-up of flower clusters
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2015-06-19
old expanding shrub just before bloom
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2021-12-12
full-grown shrub in winter
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2021-12-12
winter stems
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2021-12-12
broad conical terminal clusters of capsules
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2021-06-19
shrub in white bloom in middle of plant island
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2021-12-12
shrub in winter before wall
Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-02-18
the brown dry fruit in winter
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-07-05
mature specimen, will get larger some
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-07-05
mature shrub in bloom
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-07-05
top of shrub in bloom
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-07-05
flower spikes
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-07-05
shrub in bloom with home-made sign
Location: Romeoville, Illinois
Date: 2016-07-18
shrub in bloom
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2016-07-18
full-grown shrub in bloom
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois
Date: 2015-06-19
first flower cluster bloom on expanding mound
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2019-06-22
upright plant in middle of bed beginning with white flowers
Location: Wayne
Date: 2019-06-22
foliage of narrow leaves
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2019-06-22
upper plant in early bloom
Comments:
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 13, 2017 6:06 PM concerning plant:
    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. The flowers are busy with bumblebees, various bees, some butterflies, and other pollinating insects. It develops an average yellow fall color to a poor yellowish fall color depending on the individual plant and the weather. 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, though I would water it during strong drought. Some native plant and specialty nurseries sell it; I have never seen it offered in conventional nurseries. I've only seen some 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 pots of one gallon from Redbud Native Plant Nursery in Media, PA. I planted one specimen in my backyard and two specimens at a church landscape I manage. They grew a little the first season, filled in better the second, and were of mature size the third year of about 5 to 6 feet. I propagated several plants by taking stem cuttings in late spring. This species and the Steeplebush Spirea (Spiraea tomentosa) are among my favorite shrubs.

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