A genus comprising about fifty species of handsome flowering shrubs mostly deciduous. All are hardy, free-flowering and of easy culture, and no garden is complete without a collection of these most beautiful shrubs. They are excellent subjects for bordering groups of taller or more strongly-growing kinds which alone are apt to form stiff or too formal effects.
A good collection of this genus, when well grown, will give a supply of flowers for quite a long season; for instance Spiraea Chinensis commences blooming early in March and is succeeded by Spiraea prunifolia; then follow the beautiful white-flowered sweet-scented Spiraea media, the rosy-red Spiraea Ja-ponica and the Queen of the Prairie (Spiraea lobata) with delicate peach-colored flowers, while Spiraea Lindleyana, the latest flowering of all, blooms in September. These, with the addition of many varieties (including our native species Spiraea Douglasii, Spiraea Aruncus, Spiraea millefolia, Spiraea opulifolia, Spiraea dumosa, etc.) make a most desirable collection in any garden.
The Spiraea grows freely in any good soil with ordinary care and a reasonable amount of water during the growing season. Spiraea Aruncus, Spiraea palmata and other herbaceous species prefer a damp, moist situation, particularly the bank of a stream where their fibrous roots may reach the water.
The herbaceous species are best propagated by division of the roots, and the shrubby kind either by division of the roots or by cuttings, placed in the open ground in sandy soil in October or as soon as they shed their leaves.