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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #11500)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Low shrub, 20-60 (90) cm tall, from long creeping rhizome; stems erect, smooth, with thin wiry branches.
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.
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.
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:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


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




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
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

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