Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor'
Common Name: spirea
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils. Remove faded flower clusters as practicable (light shearing is an option) to encourage additional bloom. Flowers on new wood, so prune in late winter to early spring if needed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Tor’ is a birchleaf spirea cultivar that typically grows 2-3’ tall in a dense, compact, rounded mound. Tiny white flowers in small flattened clusters (corymbs) cover the foliage in late spring. Birch-like, dark green leaves (to 1.5” long) are oval and sharpely toothed. Foliage turns quality shades of orange, red and purple in autumn. Flowers are attractive to butterflies. Specific epithet translates as birch leaf (Betula being the birch genus and folia meaning leaf), in obvious reference to the leaf shape. Cultivar name presumably comes from the Gaelic word torr meaning hill or mound, in reference to the plant habit.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to many of the diseases and insects that attact other rose family members, including leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew, root rot, aphids, leaf roller and scale.

Garden Uses

Specimen or group for rock gardens. Mass or group in shrub borders. Low hedge for paths and walkways. Incorporates well into foundation plantings.