TREES & plants

Bridal wreath

Bridal wreath spirea in flower.

A large, old-fashioned shrub with arching, fountain-like stems. Very showy clusters of white flowers appear along the branches and brighten a spring landscape. Best used en masse, at the back of a shrub border, or as a screen.

Botanical name: 
Spiraea vanhouttei
All Common Names: 
Bridal wreath spirea, Vanhoutt's spirea, Vanhoutte spirea
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Hedge, 
  • Massing, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Screen, 
  • Specimen, 
  • Windbreak
Size Range: 
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3, 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Alkaline soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest: 
  • Early spring, 
  • Mid spring
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Arching, 
  • Multi-stemmed, 
  • Vase-shaped
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate, 
  • Fast
More Information: 

Size & form

A large, vase-shaped shrub with fountain-like arching branches. Reaches 6 to 10 feet tall and 10-12 feet wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Full sun to part shade, prefers well-drained soil
Hardy shrub, prune to maintain size
Flowers on old wood, prune after flowering to shape
Shallow-rooted, benefits with a layer of organic mulch to moderate soil fluctuation and hold moisture.

Disease, pests, and problems

Leaf spots, fire blight, mildew

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Deer, rabbit and salt

Native geographic location and habitat

A hybrid cross between Threelobe spirea (Spiraea trilobata)  x Reeve's spirea (Spiraea cantoniensis)

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Birds, hummingbirds and butterflies

Bark color and texture 

Thin, brown, smooth stems from base of plant
Arching, fountain-like stems

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, simple leaves up to 3/4 inch long and 1 1/2 inches wide with 3 to 5 lobes. Pointed leaf tips and irregular teeth margins
Dark blue green color changing to an inconsistent reddish-yellow in fall

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Showy, small 1 to 2 inch clusters (umbels) of white flowers in April and May.
Flowers on old wood at the tip of branches.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Dry, brown follicle persistent through winter, not showy.

Spiraea vanhouttei or Bridal wreath