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Houttei its hardiness as it is a native of North China and Siberia. One can scarcely say too much in praise of Spiraea Van Houttei. Its graceful form, attractive foliage and wealth of white flowers are most striking and it may be regarded as one of our most useful and beautiful shrubs. It blooms during the latter half of May, but while the bloom is over early in the season the new growth which takes place provides foliage which is attractive throughout the summer. It is very effective when massed close to the house. It grows from four to six feet high.

Spiraea arguta is as hardy or hardier than S. Van Houttei, and as it blooms early in May before the latter is in bloom there is no rivalry between them. This also is a hybrid species, being a cross between S. Thunbergii and S. multiflora (the latter of hybrid origin), and is, like S. Van Houttei, more beautiful than either of the parents and hardier than S. Thunbergii, which used to be the best known early blooming sort. S. arguta is a graceful shrub, growing about four feet high and being literally covered with small, white flowers on slender branches in the blooming season. While the foliage is not quite so attractive as S. Van Houttei it is, owing to its graceful habit, quite ornamental after the blooming season is over.

Where it is hardy, the double variety of Spiraea prunifolia comes third, perhaps, in usefulness and beauty. it is one of the earliest to bloom, but it is too tender at Ottawa to make a good show and is useful only in the warmest part of Canada. The flowers are pure white and are larger than most other Spiræas and are quite double. This shrub continues attractive throughout the summer as the foliage is glossy and deep green in colour. The autumn tints are also good.

Spiraea Thunbergii is a very early bloomer and one of the most graceful of the Spiraeas, but is not hardy enough in the colder parts of Canada. Even where it is hardy it is not so desirable as Spiraea arguta, which blooms about the same time. Spiraea Thunbergii colours much more highly than S. arguta in the autumn. and on this account is valuable for massing. It is a native of Japan and grows 3 to 5 feet high.

Of stiffer and more upright habit than any of the four preceding Spiraeas, but very showy because of its wealth of creamy-white flowers, is Spiraea chamaedrifolia, a very hardy species growing about 6 feet high. It is a native of Europe reaching to Japan.


Spiraea ulmifolia is very similar and Spiraea media is of somewhat the same.

One of the most beautiful of the Spiraeas is S. bracteata, often sold as S. rotundifolia alba. The flowers of this variety are white and very conspicuous, in compact clusters and contrasting well with the rich green foliage. The species. blooms early in June after Spiraea Van Houttei, which makes it particularly valuable. It is not quite hardy enough at Ottawa. It is said to grow 8 feet high, but where it kills back some; 4 feet would be a good average. This is a native of Japan.

A Spiraea which belongs to quite a distinct group from those already described and which blooms from early summer for several weeks is Spiraea sorbifolia. This is now included by some botanists in another genus and is known as Sorbaria sorbifolia, getting its name from the leaves, which resemble very much those of the Mountain Ash. The leaves of this shrub are quite attractive and when the strong stems bearing large panicles of flowers are thrown up it makes a most striking shrub. It suckers very freely, and on this account should not be grown where it is liable to crowd less vigorous sorts. It is a native of Northern Asia, is very hardy and grows from 3 to 5 feet high. Of the same group is Spiraea Aitchisoni, a

native of Afghanistan. It is an attractive shrub, but not hardy enough in the colder parts of Canada.

There is a very distinct group of Spiraeas which bloom during the summer months, usually sold under the name of Spiraea callosa and varieties. These are true Spiraea japonica and varieties. They are low growing shrubs, from two feet to four feet high. The wood kills back very much each year, but they bloom freely on the new wood and are very showy during the summer months. Spiraea japonica has a wide range in the wild state, being found from Japan to the Himalayas, and it varies considerably in the different countries in which it grows, giving rise to a number of varieties. The variety Fortunei is the Chinese form and with its subvarieties gives the most attractive forms, most of them being various shades of pink, crimson, and rose. Some of the tints are not very pleasing as they approach magenta. The variety Anthony Waterer is a low growing shrub with crimson flowers, not very attractive to many people, and is a variety of Bumalda, which in its turn is a hybrid between S. japonica and S. albiflora.


Spiraea albiflora is sold by nurserymen as Spiraea callosa alba. It is closely related to S. japonica and is a very useful white flowered shrub for summer. grows only about 18 inches high.

An attractive species which blooms in July and August is Spiraea Margaritae (S. japonica X S. superba) with pink flowers. It reaches a height of five feet.

Spiraea Billardi and Spiraea alba are two tall hybrid species of which Spiraea salicifolia, our native species, is one of the parents. They have large panicles of flowers, those of the former being bright pink, and the latter white. They grow six feet high and bloom during July and August.

There are other summer flowering species which might be mentioned but the colour of most of them runs to magenta, a colour which is not pleasing to many people.

Thus, by a judicious selection, shrubby Spiraeas may be had in bloom from early in May until August.


There are not nearly so many herbaceous Spiraeas as woody ones. In the Kew Guide 17 species and varieties are mentioned, of which 10 are species. In addition, there are 4 species of Astilbes. The number of horticultural varieties is not yet very large.

Like the woody species, the herbaceous Spiraeas include in their number some of the most graceful hardy ornamental plants. Most of them are moisture loving and do not thrive well if the soil is dry. According to recent botanical nomenclature there are no herbaceous Spiraeas. What used to be called Spiraeas are now referred to other genera, such as the genus Astilbe, Ulmaria, Aruncus and Astilboides, and we might not recognize some of our old favorites under their new names. In this paper, however, we shall call them all Spiraeas and by their trade


The herbaceous Spiraea which is best known, perhaps, is Astilbe japonica, known in the trade as Spiraea japonica and is one of the most popular and satisfactory plants for forcing in the greenhouse. It looks well in the house, where it should be kept well watered. It is one of the few greenhouse plants which are hardy and it can be planted outside after it has done blooming. It does best in the garden in a moist, sheltered situation. Its graceful, plume-like flowers and attractive foliage make it a very ornamental plant. There are several varieties of

Astilbe japonica, the compact form being one of the most popular. Astilbe Lemoinei and 4. Thunbergii are two other species which are good for forcing, though not very satisfactory as garden plants in the colder parts of Canada.

The finest herbaceous Spiraea, in our judgment, is Spiraea Aruncus or Goat's Beard, and yet this elegant plant is seldom seen in Canadian gardens. It is a native plant, being found wild in British Columbia. It begins blooming at Ottawa early in June and its graceful plume-like panicles of creamy-white flowers and fine foliage with its height of from four to five feet make it a bold and striking object in the border. There is a cut-leaved variety of this called Spiraea Aruncus Kneiffi, which is very distinct and is so unlike the species and is such a fine plant that it should not be omitted from any collection.

Another strong growing species which requires plenty of space to show off to advantage is Spiraea camtschatica, known in the catalogues as Spiraca gigantea, and even finer than the type and the most desirable is Spiraea camschatica elegans. This grows from four to five feet in height and blooms from early in July to early in August. The flowers are crimson pink in the bud and white with crimson pink anthers when open.

A Spiraea of quite the opposite habit of growth is the double-flowered Dropwort, Spiraea Filipendula flore pleno. This is much more attractive than Spiraea Filipendula, though it is also good. The flowers are double and pure white. The plant reaches a height of from two to two and a half feet and when it is in bloom during June and early July it is one of the most noticeable plants in the border. The foliage is finely cut, which helps to give the plant its graceful appearance.

Another very fine Japanese Spiraea is Spiraea palmata of horticulturists, but Ulmaria purpurea of the botanists. This grows from three to three and a half feet high with carmine flowers, and like most of the other Spiraeas is very graceful. There is a good variety with lighter flowers known as Spiraea palmata elegans. Somewhat of the same type, but a much stronger and taller grower is Spiraea lobata or Queen of the Prairie, a species native to the United States. It grows four to five feet or taller, has deep pink flowers and blooms during the latter part of July and the early part of August. The variety of this known as S. Venusta has flowers of a deeper shade and is equal to or better than S. lobata.

The last variety which we shall include in this list is Spiraea Ulmaria flore pleno, the double-flowered variety of the Meadow Sweet. To be at its best this beautiful Spiraea should be in damp soil where it will reach a height of four feet or more. The flowers are double and creamy-white. This Spiraea blooms during July and early August and is very effective. The ordinary single flowered Meadow Sweet is not nearly so striking.

There are a number of other good herbaceous Spiraeas, but with those which have been described one would have the best of them.

In closing, we heartily recommend these graceful flowers for more general planting.

A MEMBER. Do you advise spring planting or is autumn the best? PROF. MACOUN. You would be quite safe in planting in the spring. Spring planting is preferable for most woody plants, and the fall for herbaceous.

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