The Bugwood Network
NPS and USFWS

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas

Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of
Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.



Japanese Spiraea
William S. Justice
Japanese Spiraea
Spiraea japonica

Japanese spiraea, a native of Japan, Korea and China, was introduced into the United States for ornamental cultivation around 1870. It is a very popular landscape shrub that produces showy pink flowers in spring. Spiraea invades a variety of natural habitats including fields, forests, stream and river edges, and disturbed areas like roadsides and power line rights-of-way. It tolerates a wide range of soil and light conditions. Spiraea grows rapidly and densely, displacing many native herbs and shrubs. It flowers profusely, producing large numbers of seeds that are dispersed away from the parent plant by water.

Prevention and Control
Cutting may be effective for small populations or environmentally sensitive areas. Repeated mowing or cutting will control the spread of spiraea, but will not eradicate it. Systemic herbicides can also be used.

Native Alternatives
sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), silky dogwood (Cornus amomum), Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica), pinxterbloom azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides)


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USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.