Virginia Tech Dendrology

Japanese spiraea Rosaceae Spiraea japonica L. f. Listen to the Latin symbol: SPJA
Leaf: Alternate, simple, narrowly lance-shaped, 1 to 3 inches long, margins toothed near the apex but entire close to the base, green above, paler below but yellow-leaved varieties exist.
Flower: Small, usually red-pink (white varieties exist), in flat-top terminal clusters, appearing in mid-summer.
Fruit: Fruits are small brown follicles about 1/8 inch borne in flat-top terminal clusters, persistent.
Twig: Slender, stiff, "wandlike", largely unbranched, reddish brown; leaf scar small and raised, 1 bundle scar.
Bark: Smooth, grayish to reddish brown eventually peeling off in fine strips.
Form: A multi-stemmed shrub to 6 feet tall.
Looks like: Douglas spiraea - rose meadowsweet
leaf flower twig form1 map
Additional Range Information: Spiraea japonica is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Japanese spiraea.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson