Great Shrubs for Southern Landscapes


Great Shrubs for Southern Landscapes
Volume 4, Issue 40
November 8, 2013
Great Shrubs for Southern Landscapes
Table of Contents
Great Shrubs for
Spiraea is a popular genus consisting Southern
of about 80 to 100 species, about a dozen of Landscapes
which are native to Georgia. This is a hardy, pg. 1
deciduous shrub with simple leaves arranged
in an alternate fashion. In the spring, flower Georgia Gives Day
clusters are borne in inflorescences in colors of pg. 2
white, pink or red.
Spiraea x bumalda ‘Gold Flame’
Spiraea cantoniensis ‘Lanceata’
Spiraea x bumalda, commonly known
as Bumald Spirea, is a hybrid with a rounded
growth habit, reaching a height of 2 to 3 feet
and a spread as wide as 5 feet. It’s known for Lockerly Trustees
its bronze-colored foliage, which emerges in
David Evans,
spring that slowly turns to the color of choice
for a particular cultivar. For instance, fall color
is often greenish-purple on green cultivars,
whereas on the cultivar ‘Gold Flame,’ the
Joe Mangum,
foliage ranges in color from lavender-red to
Vice President
a vivid orange. The cultivar ‘Gold Mound’
sports lively chartreuse-colored leaves. In
Sherrill Jones,
spring, showy flowers ranging in color from
light pink to dark lavender emerge in clusters. Secretary/Treasurer
This is a very adaptable shrub, tolerant of heat,
Kathy Chandler
drought and poor soils. Perhaps the most popular cultivar is ‘Anthony Waterer’ that bears
Rodger Flotta
4 to 6 inch wide carmine-pink inflorescences.
Jan Flynn, Ph.D.
For best results, plant Bumald Spirea in full Doug R. Oetter, Ph.D.
sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil.
Spiraea cantoniensis, or Reeves’ Spirea, is a fast-growing, drought tolerant shrub that
does extremely well in our area. This shrub typically reaches 3 to 6 feet. tall with wiry, arching
stems. The leaves boast a dark green color on top and a pale blue-green beneath. Without pruning, S. cantoniensis will form a lovely mound of gracefully arching stems which, in midspring,
become heavy with masses of pure white flowers. The cultivar ‘Lanceata’ boasts double flower
blooms, making this selection the most popular selection of the species.
Taylor Quedensley,
Dede Reoch
Joni Smith
Bruce Vaughn, CFP
Al Woods
Spiraea japonica ‘Golden Princess’
Spiraea japonica, or Japanese Spirea, is perhaps the most wellknown of the Spireas. This species boasts the widest variety of forms
and colors available on the market today. Similar in habit to Spiraea x
bumalda, Japanese Spirea typically reaches 2 to 4 feet tall with foliage of
various colors, depending on cultivar. The foliage can range in color from
chartreuse to bronze to blue-green, depending on the variety. Flat-topped,
pink flower clusters are displayed in spring. The cultivar ‘Goldmound’ ‘has
rich golden yellow foliage that holds its color in the heat. ‘Limemound’
and ‘Golden Princess’ are popular cultivars with golden foliage. ‘Shibori’
may be the best of the Japanese Spireas. It offers deep rose, pink, and
white flowers on the same plant. It is a vigorous, rounded cultivar that
grows 3 to 4 feet tall.
Spiraea prunifolia is commonly known as Bridalwreath Spirea
because of its lovely masses of snow white flowers borne in early spring.
It is an upright, clumping, deciduous shrub with arching branches. It
typically reaches heights around 4 to 8 feet tall with a similar spread.
Although it can become somewhat leggy over time, this is an attractive
old-fashioned shrub that is considered to be an heirloom plant here in the
South. Its profuse bloom period begins prior to the emergence of foliage,
which is a shiny dark green color. In fall, this color develops into a spectacular orange-gold. S. prunifolia ‘Plena’ is a long-time favorite, known
for its double clusters of white flowers and yellow-orange fall foliage.
Spiraea x vanhouttei, or Vanhoutte Spirea, is another deciduous
hybrid that can reach 6 to 8 feet tall. This shrub is actually a hybrid cross
Spiraea prunifolia ‘Plena’
between S. trilobata and S. cantoniensis. It is best known for its showy
spring bloom period, when tiny white flowers cover the shrub, causing its branches to arch down gracefully. Its leaves,
which are serrated and a dark blue-green color, have been known to turn an attractive purple color in the fall. This is an
excellent flowering specimen, and as such should be planted as an accent shrub in the garden. It also makes a lovely hedge
or as part of a border.
Georgia Gives Day
Georgia Gives Day, an initiative to benefit Georgia’s nonprofit sector, is set this
year for Wednesday, Nov. 13. Please consider helping Lockerly by making a donation to
the Lockerly Arboretum Foundating through the Georgia Gives Day website.
Simply go to Lockerly’s Georgia Gives Day page and click on the Donate button.
Click here for the website.
Your donation in any amount will not only help us fulfill our mission, but it will also
make us eligible for special awardes. Last year, in addition to donations, our participation in
the Georgia Gives Day program resulted in a $2,500 award from the Knight Foundation. We
must receive donations from our supporters this Wednesday, Nov. 13 to be eligble for these
special awards, so please remember us on Georgia Gives Day with your donation and help
us reach our fundraising goals for the year. Thanks to all of you for your support.