Spiraea betulifolia
Common name: 
Birch-leaf Spirea
Shiny-leaf Spirea
White Spirea
sp-i-REE-a bet-u-li-FOL-i-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous shrub, erect to basally prostrate, to 3 ft (0.9 m) high, sparsely branched, cinnamon-brown scaly bark.  Leaves alternate, simple, 2-9 cm long, broadly ovate, elliptic, to obovate, margin serrate to doubly serrate, base round to broadly wedge-shaped, apex acute to round, light green and smooth above, paler below; petiole about 6 mm long.  Flowers very small, white to pinkish-tinged, in dense, flat-topped clusters.  Fruit, small follicle, about 3 mm long, usually 5 per cluster.
  • Sun to part shade.  Best in moist soil
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4      Usually indicated as being native of Japan and eastern Asia.  There are two accepted varieties, S. b. var corymbosa and S. b. var. lucida.    S. b var. corymbosa (shinyleaf meadowsweet) is native to eastern North America, whereas S. b. var. lucida (shinyleaf spirea, also S. lucida) is native to British Columbia, southern Saskatchewan, and eastern Alberta, south to eastern Washington and Oregon, into Montana, Idaho, north-central Wyoming, and the Black Hills of South Dakota (Hitchcock and Cronquist, 1973).  A USDA Distribution map of S. b. var. lucida shows it native to the Portland area and southern Oregon. 
  • Some selections:
    • 'Tor' - dark green leaves, white flowers,  
    • Glow Girl®, ('Tor Gold') - leaves emerge yellow and mature to chartreuse, white flowers
    • Pink Sparkler™,  ('COURISPI01') - blue-green leaves, pink flowers
  • betulifolia: leaves resembling Betula, birch.
Click image to enlarge
  • elongating shoots

    elongating shoots

  • leaves