Spirea Spiraea spp.
Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
Branching: Alternate
Other names: Meadowsweet

Spiraea is a small shrub usually with several straight upright shoots.  Its clusters of small while flowers stand out in the summer, and the dried fruit clusters are usually visible in the winter as well.  There are a few species that differ mainly in leaf shape.  Narrowleaf Spirea (Spiraea alba) is probably the most common and is picture here.

Winter twig (with some half-dead leaves still)

Winter twig farther down the stem.  Notice the two sizes of buds

The top branches can be very slender

Spiraea fruit clusters stand upright

A closer look at the fruits

Often the stalks nearer to the ground appear striped
when they peel

Winter twig of Spiraea

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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