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Bridal wreath spirea grows as a loose, gracefully arching shrub to around 6 ft (2 m) in height and width. The slender shiny brown stems tend to be a little zig-zaggy. It has deciduous 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) ovate leaves with fine teeth on the margins. The leaves are glossy dark green, often turning purplish or reddish orange in autumn. The flowers are snowy white and double, about a third of an inch (0.8 cm) in diameter and produced all along the stems in open corymbs of 3-6, each cluster about 2.5 in (6 cm) across. Bridal wreath spirea blooms in early to mid spring, before the leaves come out.
Spirea prunifolia var. simpliciflora, the wild form, hails from temperate Asia in Korea, eastern China and Taiwan where it grows on rocky hillsides. S. p. 'Plena', the garden form, apparently originated in Chinese gardens, and actually was discovered by Western botanists and horticulturists before the wild form was known.
Spotted growing in an old house site on a wooded and now-overgrown lot. (House is long-gone.) Bridal wreath spirea (sometimes called popcorn spirea) is an old favorite among American gardeners and a common sight in home landscapes throughout much of the eastern U.S. Some states list this as invasive - the seeds are supposedly sterile, but it easily propogates from cuttings. Add'l web site refs: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symb... http://tenn.bio.utk.edu/vascular/databas...
Spotted on Apr 5, 2013
Submitted on Apr 5, 2013