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dwarf spiraea, shinyleaf meadowsweet

Photo is of parent taxon
Habit Shrubs, 3–10(–15) dm. Shrubs or trees, sometimes subshrubs or herbs.

erect to arching, branched.


petiole 3–8 mm, sparsely hairy;

blade ovate to elliptic or suborbiculate, 2–10 × 1–2.5 cm, coriaceous, base obtuse, rounded, or subcordate, margins irregularly, coarsely and sharply doubly serrate from midpoint to apex, teeth acute and mucronate, number of primary and secondary serrations 1 times number of secondary veins (excluding inter-secondary veins), venation pinnate cladodromous, secondary veins not prominent, apex acute, obtuse, or rounded, abaxial surface mostly glabrous, adaxial glabrous.

alternate, sometimes opposite, simple, sometimes pinnately compound;

stipules present or absent.


mostly terminal, corymbiform, 2–5 × 3–10 cm height 0.4–1.1 times diam.;

branches rarely in axils of leaves, glabrous or glabrate.


1–3 mm, glabrous or glabrate.


4–7 mm diam.;

hypanthia hemispheric, 0.8–1 mm, abaxial surface glabrous or pubescent, adaxial glabrous;

sepals triangular, 0.5–1 mm;

petals chalky white to pink, orbiculate, 1.3–1.5 mm;

staminodes 5–15 reduced to serrations;

stamens 15–20, 2 times petal length.

torus absent or minute;

carpels 1–5(–8), distinct or +/- connate (Maleae), free or +/- adnate to hypanthium (many Maleae), styles distinct or +/- connate (some Maleae);

ovules (1 or)2(–5+), collateral, clustered, or biseriate.


follicles aggregated or not, capsules, drupes aggregated or not, aggregated drupelets, pomes, or aggregated nutlets, rarely achenes or aggregated achenes;

styles persistent or deciduous, not elongate (elongate in Gillenieae).


nearly fusiform, 2–3 mm, shiny, glabrous.


= 8, 9, 15, 17.


= 36.

Spiraea corymbosa

Rosaceae subfam. Amygdaloideae

Phenology Flowering May–Oct; fruiting Jun–Nov.
Habitat Open rocky soil, rocky, lightly wooded sites, dry or fast draining slopes, rocky edges of woods
Elevation 0–500 m (0–1600 ft)
from FNA
GA; MA; MD; NC; NJ; PA; TN; VA; WV; NS; ON [Introduced in e Europe]
from FNA
HI; North America; Mexico; Central America; South America; Europe; Asia; Africa; Atlantic Islands (Madeira); Australia

H. A. Gleason and A. Cronquist (1963) and L. J. Uttal (1974) considered Spiraea corymbosa to be a variety of S. betulifolia. K. Sax (1936) found S. corymbosa to be a triploid with complete pollen sterility and hypothesized that it must exist as a diploid, or form viable egg cells, because it is involved in hybrids. If so, these cytological differences may be correlated with some morphological variation.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Cyanogenic glycosides are usually present in Amygdaloideae; sorbitol is present.

The name Amygdaloideae Arnott (1832) has priority over Spiraeoideae Arnott (1832), used by D. Potter et al. (2007), because Amygdalaceae (1820) is an earlier conserved name.

Tribes 9, genera 55, species ca. 1300 (9 tribes, 38 genera, 361 species, including 20 hybrids, in the flora)

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 9, p. 403. FNA vol. 9, p. 345.
Parent taxa Rosaceae > subfam. Amygdaloideae > tribe Spiraeeae > Spiraea Rosaceae
Sibling taxa
S. alba, S. cantoniensis, S. chamaedryfolia, S. douglasii, S. japonica, S. lucida, S. prunifolia, S. salicifolia, S. splendens, S. stevenii, S. thunbergii, S. tomentosa, S. virginiana, S. ×hitchcockii, S. ×pyramidata, S. ×vanhouttei
Subordinate taxa
Synonyms S. betulifolia var. corymbosa, S. ostryfolia, S. repens, S. sororia
Name authority Rafinesque: Précis Découv. Somiol., 36. (1814) Arnott: Botany, 107. (1832)
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