Spiraea alba

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: meadowsweet 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil


Grow in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun. Needs constant moisture, and soil must not be allowed to dry out. Remove spent flower clusters to promote additional bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Spiraea alba, commonly called meadowsweet, is an upright, deciduous shrub which grows up to 4' tall and features alternate, narrow, toothed, green leaves and terminal, cone-shaped clusters (3-4" long) of tiny, white flowers that bloom in the summer. Fruits mature in September. Each fruit contains 5 pod-shaped follicles which dry out and split, thus allowing the seeds to disperse (somewhat like milkweed). Fruits do not have ornamental value. This species of spirea is a native of the eastern and midwestern U.S., but is currently endangered in the state of Missouri. Typically found in the wild on wet prairies, wet river bottom prairies and open ground along streams or lakes.

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 white.


No serious problems. Susceptible to many of the diseases and insects which attack other members of the rose family, including leaf spots, fireblight, powdery mildew, rots, aphids, leaf roller and scale.


Effective along streams or ponds, in low spots or boggy areas, or, with regular watering, in a border or cottage garden.