Spiraea betulifolia Pall.
White Meadow-sweet (birch-leaved spirea; Prairie Wedgegrass; white spirea)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

Photograph

© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #11500)


Map

E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Spiraea betulifolia
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC

Spiraea betulifolia ssp. lucida

Species Information

General:
Low shrub, 20-60 (90) cm tall, from long creeping rhizome; stems erect, smooth, with thin wiry branches.
Leaves:
Alternate, deciduous, short-stalked, oval to oblong-egg-shaped, 2-7 cm long, coarsely double-toothed mostly above the middle, dark green above, paler below, smooth.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a branched, nearly flat-topped, terminal cluster of numerous small flowers; corollas white, sometimes pink-tinged, the petals 5, circular, about 2 mm long; calyces smooth on the outside, 5-lobed, the lobes triangular, erect to spreading, about 1 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens numerous.
Fruits:
Follicles, usually 5, about 3 mm long, beaked, somewhat leathery, smooth except sometimes a few long hairs along the suture, shining; seeds several, spindle-shaped.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
White
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Spiraea betulifolia

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Avg

Min

Max

Elevation (metres)
1066 6 2854
Slope Gradient (%)
26 0 244

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

196 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
9993
Modal BEC Zone Class
IDF

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(12), BG(12), BWBS(295), CWH(42), ESSF(792), ICH(1902), IDF(2397), MH(4), MS(1481), PP(158), SBPS(263), SBS(2020), SWB(1)

Habitat and Range

Dry to moist open forests, rocky slopes and clearings in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC east (mostly) of the Coast-Cascade Mountains and S of 56degreeN; S to CA, MT and ID.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia