Spiraea hypericifolia. - Hyperica-leaved Spiraea, or, St. Peter's Wreath. - This is a very elegant shrub, producing it numerous small white flowers in long garlands, upon the delicate curving branches of the plant. The bush, when in flower, has the appearance of being covered with a light fall of snow. The foliage is elegant; it is in flower in May and June; grows about four feet high; the extremities of the branches are sometimes winter-killed; easily propagated by suckers, divisions of the root, or by layers, as all the species are.
Spiraea opulifolia. - Nine-Bark Spiraea. - "An ornamental native shrub, found from Canada to Georgia; from five to seven feet high, distinguished for the abundance of its showy heads of flowers, and for its conspicuous fruit. The stem is rugged, with loose, gray bark, easily detached, and falling off. Flowers in hemispherical heads, on a short stalk, - each flower on a slender, downy thread; white, with a rose tinge."
Spiraea salicifolia. - The Queen of the Meadows. - This is a very pretty shrub, from two to four, and sometimes six, feet high, with terminal heads of neat white, sometimes rose-tinted flowers, in June and July.
Spircea tomentosa. - Steeple Bush, - Hard-Hack. - This is a very common, leafy shrub, from two to five feet high, growing in wet ground, and distinguished in the flowering season for its long, tapering spire of purple flowers. A few years since we ordered all the handsome Spiraeas from England, excluding all that we possessed. When they came into flower, we found among them, this old, familiar country friend. It is, however, handsome when cultivated and pruned of the previous year's stem, which disfigures it very much, when growing in the pastures.
"This plant has very valuable astringent qualities, and it employed as a tonic in dysentery, and other disorders of the system."
Spiraea prunifolia plena. - Double Prune-leaved Spiraea. - This is one of the most desirable species or varieties of the Spiraea, and is perfectly hardy. The following account is from the Gardener's Chronicle. "This charming shrub was introduced into Europe by Dr. Siebold, to whom our collections are are indebted for so many novelties, only to be procured with the utmost difficulty. It deserves the attention of all amateurs, as well for its hardiness as its elegant habit and beautiful flowers. The Dutch traveller found it cultivated in the Japanese gardens, and supposes its native country to be Corea, or the north of China. It is a shrub, from six to nine feet high, and has upright, close, bushy, slender branches, which are covered with a smooth, ash-colored bark, that detaches itself at later periods in thin scales. The leaves are oval, or ovate elliptic, rounded at their base, obtuse or a little acute at their apex, downy beneath, denticulated at the edge. The flowers, which grow by threes or sixes, cover the whole length of the branches, are as white as snow, and very double, in consequence of a complete abortion of their stamens. Their shape is exactly like that of the Ranunculus aconitifolius with double flowers, and their number and arrangement, with a light and elegant bright-green foliage, render this plant a charming addition to the shrubs which grow in the native air." It flowers in this climate in May.
S. Douglassii. - Mr. Douglass's Spirsea. - This shrub is noticed by Mr. Downing, as a new species from California, having some resemblance to S. tomentosa, flowering in the same manner; flowers fine rosy-lilac, continuing in bloom from July till the autumnal frosts commence. This species flowered in our collection last year; but, as the plants were not fully established, we could not judge of its merits. The resemblance was so near to S. tomentosa, that we were unfavorably impressed with its appearance.
S. sorbifolia. - Pinnate-leaved Spiraea. - This is a vigorous shrub, a native of Siberia. It develops its handsome pinnate foliage very early in the spring. The leaflets are serrated, or with notched edges. The flowers are yellowish-white, produced in large, dense panicles, in June. The flowers seem to be peculiarly attractive to the rose-bugs, which sometimes disfigure and spoil their beauty by the immense numbers which delight to revel in its sweets. This shrub propagates itself too fast, spiraea. 299 as it throws up its suckers in great profusion, and makes itself quite too common; otherwise it would be a desirable plant for the shrubbery.
S. bella. - Pretty Spiraea. - This is a dwarf species, about three feet high, producing its beautiful pink flowers in little, dense hemispherical heads, in June; a neat little shrub, worthy of a place in every collection.
S. Reevesii. - Mr. Reeves's Spiraea. - We consider this one of the most elegant and desirable species of the whole family. The flowers are of a snowy whiteness, produced in clusters, the whole length of its graceful, arching stems, which, intermingled with the handsome foliage, produce a pleasing effect. The shrub is delicate in its growth, about four feet high, and flowers in June. It is propagated by cuttings, layers, and suckers.
S. airifolia. - This is a very delicate species we have in our collection, with exceedingly graceful, airy-like foliage, with small heads of white flowers; two or three feet high.
S. laevigata. - Smooth-leaved Spiraea. - This species has smooth lanceolate leaves, without serrature or notch. The flowers are white, in compound racemes, somewhat fragrant. It is not very showy, but, in a collection, makes up a variety; about two or three feet high.
S. argentia. - Silver-striped-leaved Spiraea. - This very delicate species has variegated leaves, with graceful, airy foliage, similar in its habits to airifolia; flowers nearly the same.
S. trilobata. - Three-lobed-leaved Spiraea. - The leaves of this species are bluntly three-lobed, and toothed, or notched. The flowers are white, in stalked umbels, about three or four feet high.
Take the species together, we do not know any genus of plants where the foliage is so diversified. When grouped together, they make a fine appearance, either in flower or foliage. There are many other species that have not come under our observation, which, no doubt, are as valuable for the shrubbery as those described.