FloraFinder.org
Home   About Us   Want to Help?   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Biblio

Spiraea alba

Spiraea alba Du Roi

 

Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRosalesRose family and eight others
FamilyRosaceaeIncludes apples, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, almonds, roses, meadowsweets, photinias, firethorns, rowans, and hawthorns; many others
GenusSpiraeaFrom Greek speiraira, “a plant used for wreaths or garlands,” in turn from speira, “spiral or twisted”
Speciesalba“White”

About plant names...

Meadowsweet is native to North America. The similar-appearing Spiraea latifolia has recently been reclassified as a form of this species. See also steeplebush, a pink relative.

Identification: This shrub is 24-72" (60-182 cm) around, with multiple stems that are rarely branched. (Browsing by animals sometimes produced more densely branched bushes.) Stems are brown or yellowish brown. Leaves are alternate, green and textured above, paler in color beneath, narrowly ovate, and sharply toothed. They have pinnate veins and short stems, and are 1¾-2½" (5-7 cm) × ⅜-¾" (1-2 cm). The most notable feature is the large, densely flowered flowerheads: panicles 2-6" (5-15 cm) long, composed of individual flowers less than ¼" (6.3 mm) around. Each flower is white or pale pink, with five petals and a large number of stamens. They flower from June to September. Fruits are pod-like, persisting long after flowering.

Online References:

Spiraea alba at Illinois Wildflowers

Spiraea alba at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Spiraea alba on the Ecology of Commanster

Spiraea alba at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

Spiraea alba at the University of Michigan Herbarium

Spiraea alba at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Spiraea alba on Fall Wildflowers of New England

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

8/1/2009 · Kennebunk Plains, Kennebunk, ME
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

8/4/2006 · Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, VT

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

3/25/2012 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME ID is uncertain

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm)

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/16/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 13 × 17" (32 × 42 cm) ID is uncertain

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Spiraea alba description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 9 Oct 2013.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/22/2012 · Wapack Trail, Pack Monadnock, Peterborough, NH
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm)

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/22/2012 · Wapack Trail, Pack Monadnock, Peterborough, NH
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

8/1/2009 · Kennebunk Plains, Kennebunk, ME
≈ 4 × 3" (10 × 8.5 cm) ID is uncertain

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

8/4/2006 · Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, VT

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/9/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Spiraea alba (Meadowsweet, White Meadowsweet)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm)

Range: Zones 3-7:

About this map...