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spiraea (spīrēˈə), any plant of the genus Spiraea, Northern Hemisphere deciduous shrubs of the family Rosaceae (rose family). Most are indigenous to central and E Asia, whence come most of the popular ornamental species, e.g., the bridal wreath (S. x prunifolia), native to Japan, and its similar hybrid S. vanhouttei. In these species the fragrant, spirelike flower clusters typical of the genus are borne on long, arching branches. Spiraeas native to North America include the hardhack, or steeplebush (S. tomentosa), a local source of astringent and tonic, and the meadowsweets (several species). The name meadowsweet is also applied to the related genus Filipendula, tall, hardy perennials (also often cultivated) formerly classified as Spiraea because of the similar showy blossoms. Filipendula includes the Eurasian dropwort (F. hexapetala), the queen of the meadow (F. ulmaria), now naturalized in the United States, and the North American queen of the prairie (F. rubra). Spiraeas are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Rosaceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(spirea), a genus of plants of the family Rosaceae. The plants are deciduous shrubs measuring 0.5–3 m tall. The alternate and simple leaves are usually dentate or serrate. The flowers, which are gathered in cymose, umbellate, or panicled inflorescences, are bisexual and have numerous stamens. The fruit is a follicle with tiny flat seeds.

There are about 100 species of spiraea, occurring in the northern hemisphere, mainly in the temperate zone. About 25 species are found in the USSR. The species S. media, which has smooth-margined or dentate leaves at the apex and white flowers in cymose inflorescences, grows in the northeastern part of the European USSR, in Southern Siberia, and in the Far East. It grows as part of the underbrush of arid forests and forms a dense cover on open slopes. S. salicifolia, which has sharply dentate leaves and pink flowers in pyramidal panicles, grows in Siberia and the Far East along riverbanks and in meadows and bogs. Both 5. media and S. salicifolia are ornamental shrubs commonly found in gardens and parks. Many other species and hybrids are cultivated as ornamentals.


Derev’ia i kustamiki SSSR, vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(esp US), spirea
any rosaceous plant of the genus Spiraea, having sprays of small white or pink flowers
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
One family member thanked the team for planting bridal wreaths. The shrubs, planted to camouflage the fence, remind her mother of the bridal wreath in her home garden and allow her to again enjoy the beautiful show of white flowers in the spring.
Wills has also enjoyed great success in the US with Dynever, a son of Dynaformer she bred from the Zilzal mare Bridal Wreath, purchased at Tattersalls for 7,000gns, who was placed in both the Breeders' Cup Classic (under the name Ittasak) and Dubai World Cup.
I have stood in perfect silence in the presence of the Great Refractor, traipsed across the tranquil grassy lawns around the Great Dome, imbibed the fragrance of blooming bridal wreath and lilac in spring, and trudged across snowdrifts in winter as the stars glittered in the frosty depths of space.
A ADRIENNE SAYS: Stunning spring blossom can be provided for a few weeks by trees such as crab apples and cherries plus shrubs such as lilac, deutzia, bridal wreath spiraea and viburnums.
Spirea Augusta (Bridal Wreath), 4-5ft tall, pounds 19.99;
Venus holds the bridal wreath that Cupid penetrates with his fertilizing urine, and Lucretia holds the drawing while declaiming, with ancient Lucretia, that no unchaste woman shall follow her example and live.
It bears a wreath of wheat spikes and wild roses, inspired by the first book in the Kristin Lavransdatter series, The Bridal Wreath. The base pattern on the reverse also draws upon elements from old Gudbrandsdal tapestries.