Plants

Spiraea japonica

Spiraea japonica: the species

Spiraea japonica belongs to the botanical family of Rosaceae. The various species and varieties of the genus spiraea make up what landscape architects call: “decorative plants”. With the spiraea it is also possible to form elegant ornamental hedges that take on a particular pictorial function at the moment of flowering. The plant is native to Southeast Asia. This plant is called in the common language “goat’s beard” or “queen of the meadows”. It is so beautiful when it blooms that it dresses the gardens where it lives with the color of its flowers. An ancient legend tells that Alboin, barbarian king of the Lombards, loved to consume an infusion of spiraea mixed with a glass of wine.to keep intelligence alive. Medieval castles and Renaissance palaces were adorned with these plants.


The spiraea japonica is a rustic plant, shrub and frugal that adapts to any climate and in all terrains. The early spring flowering species bloom on the twigs formed in the previous year; therefore any winter pruning must be avoided; they will be pruned immediately after flowering. On the other hand, the late summer flowering species produce flowers on the twigs of the year and consequently the pruning is carried out in late autumn or winter according to the local climate, to obtain thick bushes, rich in buds. The spiraea japonica it can be reproduced by sowing at the beginning of spring, in seedbeds, but usually it is preferred to resort to propagation by vegetative way, by means of winter woody cuttings or by layering of stump, that is by leaning a layer of earth at the base of the shrubs in order to stress the ’emission of adventitious roots.

Spiraea japonica: watering, fertilization


The spiraea japonica adapts to different types of soil, even if clayey and rather humid; obviously better to choose fertile and deep well-drained soils, always in the sun. Fertilize the plant then at the end of winter with complex fertilizers. Water regularly, dosing the water according to the local climate. Among the parasites this plant can be affected by aphids, which if treated immediately do not produce serious damage. Sometimes, spiraea japonica can also be multiplied through semi-mature wood cuttings. The wood cuttings are taken in July-August and rooted in sand in a box, transplanting them in the nursery, in April of the following year, where they are cultivated one or two years before planting them.

Spiraea japonica: its flowers


The inflorescences of spiraea japonica are present in spring or in July, depending on the species and variety. This plant owes its name to the shape of its very small flowers. In past centuries, spiraea japonica was classified as a sacred herb. A herb full of symbolic meanings with many beneficial properties. Salicylic acid occurs naturally only in willow and spirea. In the past, the spiraea japonica flower was highly recommended for relieving rheumatic pains. In the Renaissance period the flower was used to treat some malarial fevers and atherosclerosis. In the mid-nineteenth century, however, the spiraea japonica flower was used as a response to water retention and dropsy. Much loved by Queen Elizabeth I of

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