Spirea x cinerea is a hybrid group of spirea with outstanding early season blooms for the shrub border, informal hedge, or as a backdrop for early spring perennials and bulbs. The white fragrant blooms emerging before the foliage on graceful, arching stems. Light green foliage remains dense to the base of the plant.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mixed border,
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Early spring
Size & Form
5 to 6 feet high and wide, graceful, dense shrub with arching stems.
A hybrid of Norwegian origin.
Tree & Plant Care
Watering regularly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.
Prune in spring after flowering. For a formal appearance, shear annually after flowering.
Tolerant of aerial salt spray.
Disease, pests, and problems
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Butterflies love the flowers.
It is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone.
Bark color and texture
The smooth brown bark is not particularly outstanding.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, small 1 inch long, narrow sea-green elliptical leaves turn a coppery-bronze in the fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small clusters of white flowers appear up and down the arching stems before the leaves
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Cultivars and their differences
First Snow ® Spirea (Spiraea x cinerea 'Grefsheim'): 4 to 5 feet high and wide; tiny white flowers on arching stems; narrow, blue-green leaves turn a reddish-brown in fall.