Spiraea japonica 'Crispa'
Common Name: Japanese spiraea
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 July
Bloom Description: Deep pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Clay Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils. Prefers rich, moist loams. 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. Plants can be aggressive self-seeders, and have escaped gardens and naturalized in many areas of the eastern U.S. Plants will also spread in the garden by suckering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Spiraea japonica, commonly called Japanese spirea, is a dense, upright, mounded, deciduous shrub that typically grows 4-6’ tall with a slightly larger spread. Leaves (to 3” long) are oval and sharply-toothed. Tiny pink flowers in flat-topped clusters (corymbs) cover the foliage from late spring to mid-summer, with sparse and intermittent repeat bloom sometimes occurring. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Genus name comes from the Greek word speira meaning wreath in reference to the showy flower clusters seen on most shrubs in the genus.

Specific epithet means of Japan, which is part of its native range.

‘Crispa’ is a compact mounded cultivar that grows to 2-3’ tall and as wide. Deep pink flowers in flattened corymbs (to 3” across) appear in summer. Dark green leaves are twisted and crinkled, hence the cultivar name. Foliage often emerges with a reddish tint and some burgundy variegation may be seen in the mature foliage. Sometimes offered for sale by nurseries as S. x bumalda ‘Crispa’.

Problems

No known serious insect or disease problems. Spireas are generally susceptible to many of the diseases and insects that attack 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 border. Low hedge for path and walkways. Incorporates well into foundation plantings.