Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spiraea japonica 'Anthony Waterer'

 Spiraea japonica 'Anthony Waterer' (Rosaceae)
This delightful metre high deciduous shrub is native to China and Japan, though this form was developed in Europe many years ago.  In China the wild form is known as Fenhua Xiuxianju. The curious thing about it is that it occasionally throws up a a stem of leaves which have no colour and are pure blonde with some pink tips. These leaves are not happy in the sun and may burn easily. Choosing a spot in the garden which is semi shaded is the best option if you want to avoid this, otherwise it is a remarkably hardy shrub which flowers from spring right through summer. Pruning off spent flowers helps keep it neat as some branches tend to be wayward. Suckers may also appear around the base of the plant but it is certainly not invasive or a garden nuisance. The small sprays of flowers are a bright magenta pink and these start off from buds which resemble a pin cushion head.
Spiraea are hardy across a range of climates from sub-tropical to cool temperate. In warmer climates they may not become completely deciduous over winter.
2017 update: I no longer stock this plant.

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