Plant Detail

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Spiraea alba

* Common Name:

narrow leaved meadowsweet, northern meadowsweet, white meadow meadowsweet

* Genus:

Spiraea

* Species:

alba

Subspecies:

* Family (scientific):

Rosaceae

* Family (common):

Rose

Synonyms :

Spiraea salicifolia paniculata

* Distribution in Canada:

Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
P.E.I.
Newfoundland

 

Photographer: Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.

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Habitat

Ecozone(s):

Atlantic Maritime
Mixedwood Plains
Boreal Plains
Prairies
Hudson Plains

Natural Habitat(s):

Prairie/Meadow/Field
Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field (less than 25% cover)
Riparian (edge)
Swamp/Marsh (nutrient rich)
Lakeshores

Habitat Garden(s):

Pond Edge/Wetland Garden
Butterfly
Bird
Hedgerow / Thicket / Windbreak / Screening

Erosion Control? Yes

Characteristics
 
Growing Conditions

* Plant Type:

Shrub

Moisture Requirements: Normal, Moist, Wet

Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade

Soil Requirements: Clay, Sand, Loam

Temperature Zone: 3

Evergreen?

No

Average Height:

100 to 150 cm

Tolerances:

Flower Info
 
Fruit/Seed Info

Showy flowers?

Yes

Showy fruit/seeds?

No

Bloom time:

Jun to Aug

Edible for humans?

No

Flower Colour(s):

White/Cream

Fruit/Seed Colour(s):

Brown

Miscellaneous
 
Uses

Fragrant Flowers?

Yes

Urban Oasis, Stewards in the City, and Eco Superior are specific Evergreen programs that some plants are used in.

Fragrant Foliage?

No

Program & Other Uses:

Stewards in the City
Culinary
Medicinal
Aboriginal

Fall colours?

No

Distinctive bark?

No

Poisonous to humans?

No

Thorns or prickles?

No

Attracts wildlife?

Birds
Butterflies
Butterfly Larvae
Other Showy Insects

Larval host for:

spring azure

Provincial tree/flower?

Plant Watch species?

No

Interesting Tidbits
 
References

Besides white, sometimes the flowers are light pink.

Recommended for cottage gardens along stream or lake edges. (Kemper Center for Gardening)

An infusion of the leaves tastes like China tea. An infusion of the leaves is esteemed as a restorative tonic. (Coffey. T.)

Habitat Information: Commonly found below 50 degrees North latitude. Sharply toothed densely clustered narrow leaves. The bark of older stems purplish grey and bark peeling. Flowers are many, small, white, clustered, pyramidal in shape, at the end of the branches. (Soper & Heimburger, 1994)

Garden Uses: The seed heads are a cinnamon brown and persist through winter, so provide winter interest in gardens. Narrow leaved meadowsweet is an attractive shrub that is more common in moist and wet places in its natural environment, but is another example of a plant that does well in many soil types in gardens, as it can tolerate dry garden soil. (Evergeen) This plant is a great choice in a wet, and full sun or part shade pond garden, great at the outflow of a residential downspout, or for use in bioswales or storm water ponds, where water is captured and held to create periodic or constant wet conditions. (Evergreen)

Insect Relationships: The following study by Michigan State University detailed insects that were attracted to specific native plant species. Bees attracted: Moderate numbers (between 1-5 bees per meter square in a 30 second sample) of bees including yellow faced bees, andrenid bees, sweat bees, and bumble bees. Other insects found are the Virginia ctenucha moth, long horned beetles, the leaf beetle and Japanese beetles.

Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: Boiling leaves of this plant makes a tea like China tea that is said to be restorative. (Plants for a Future)

This species is deer resistant. (Evergreen)

Kemper Center for Home Gardeni

National Audubon Society: Field Guide to North American Butterflies
National Audubon Society
Alfred A. Knopf, New York
1981
ISBN: 0-394-51914-0

Wetland Plants of Ontario
Steven Newmaster, Allan Harris and Linda Kershaw
Lone Pine Publishing
1997
ISBN: 1-55105-059-5

Shrubs of Ontario
Soper, J.H. and M.L. Heimburger
ROM
1982
ISBN 0-88854-283-6

Wildflowers of Algonquin Provincial Park
Dan Strickland and John LeVay
The Friends of Algonquin Park
1993
0-921709-90-0

York University Greenroof project; Gavin Miller; 2004-2005

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