Spiraea alba: meadowsweet
A word that comes to mind when I think of Spiraea alba, or Meadowsweet, is movement. It’s probably my favorite thing about the shrub, how its thin leaves move delicately in the breeze. For such a fast-growing and vigorous shrub to add so much movement to the garden is refreshing. The fine texture of the small, light green leaves is highlighted especially in the fall when those leaves turn bright yellow. Besides the movement and texture the shrub adds to the garden, its flowers are a favorite of, not only our customers but also, our pollinators. We’ve seen more variety of different pollinators on Spiraea than any other shrubs we grow here at the nursery in Burnsville. White cone-shaped clusters of flowers bloom all summer long while providing a nectar source for butterflies, bees, and wasps. Meadowsweet is also a larval host plant to the Spring Azure. It grows best with ample moisture and sunshine and would love to be planted where it has plenty of water along a creek, stream, or on the bank of a pond.