At the Chicago Botanic Garden, Spiraea was selected as a specialty collection for its adaptability to the soils and climate of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Overall, Spiraea is a small shrub that grows in limited spaces of urban and suburban lots, is low cost, and has good resistance to insects and diseases. Spiraea is valuable in landscapes because many species bloom in late spring and early summer when few other woody plants are in bloom.
There are an estimated 80-100 species—of which an estimated 69 are found in China with 48 endemic to China. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s collection has over 61 taxa, including 25 species. The collection is continually expanded to increase in diversity, with plants added from cultivated and wild sources. As the collections diversity builds, staff will evaluate those selections that are superior for the Chicago area—plants that tolerate heavy alkaline soils, harsh winter cold and hot summers.
In the development of the Spiraea collection, the Chicago Botanic Garden is committed to having correctly identified and verified plants to support their living collections with photographs and herbarium vouchers. All plants in the permanent collection are documented, accessioned, and added to the plant database. Once accessioned and in the database, each plant is given an aluminum accession tag. Chicago Botanic Garden is proud of its well-maintained and curated collection of Spiraea.