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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


  • Occasional drought,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

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.

Location of Spiraea vanhouttei (Bridal wreath) at the Arboretum