20 June 2014

Spiraea japonica

Yesterday morning I took my camera out for the walk with Callie. It was a gray morning but the light was pretty good for photography. We took a long walk, and I took (suspense...) 130 photos.

I didn't get far before I took the photos you are seeing in this post. This flowering shrub, which seems to be called Spiraea japonica, is in our back yard. Here's what the Wikipedia article about the Spiraea family says:

The many small flowers of Spiraea shrubs are clustered together in inflorescences, usually in dense panicles, umbrella-like corymbs, or grape-like clusters. The radial symmetry of each flower is five-fold, with the flowers usually bisexual, rarely unisexual. The flowers have five sepals and five white, pink, or reddish petals that are usually longer than the sepals. Each flower has many (15 to 60) stamens. The fruit is an aggregate of follicles.
Got all that? My spelling checker signals several of the terms in that paragraph as suspect.

We inherited most of the plants in our small back yard. It seemed like many of them were planted in the wrong places, where they don't get enough sun or are hidden by other, less beautiful plants. But many of them flower at different times of year, putting on displays that you kind of have to seek out and take time to admire.

The Spiraea japonica's time is now. All the nice shades of color, from scarlet to pale pink, are really nice to contemplate. The plant itself requires very little care. I can say that, because Walt does most of the pruning and trimming around the yard.

I walked for a couple of miles yesterday, snapping pictures of vines and flowers. You'll probably be seeing some of them over the next week or so.


  1. Ken your back yard is maybe small but in my opinion so multicolored and impressive. I'd like to have that great yard. I am jealous.

  2. I second the above comment! do you hire walt out for landscaping projects? (grin)

  3. that appears to be a newly planted tree next to the spirea.

    1. Sheila, that little catalpa tree has been struggling there for a dozen years.

  4. Ken's yard is longish and largish to me. I have a spirea like that but I've never really looked at the blooms like you have, Ken. I will pay closer attention to it when it blooms next year. The flowers are complex.

  5. This looks like the butterfly bush my mother had in her back yard. Thank you for the photos.

  6. Wow, I wonder if there is a big difference between Bridal-Wreath Spirea and Spirea Japonica? Because we have a Bridal-Wreath variety (so does my mom), and they bloom far earlier than this-- they are early spring bloomers, in April or early May. And, the blooms are along long, spindly stems that make it looks like a white weeping willow almost. Like this


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?