E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Spiraea splendens Baumann ex K. Koch
subalpine spirea (rose meadowsweet)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81410)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Spiraea splendens
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Spiraea splendens var. splendens

Species Information

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Low shrub, 30-100 cm tall, from strong creeping rhizome; stems erect to spreading, smooth, with thin wiry branches.
Alternate, deciduous, short-stalked, oval to oblong-elliptic, 1.5-4 cm long, blunt-toothed mostly above the middle, bright green above, paler and prominently veined below, smooth on both surfaces or fine-hairy beneath.
Inflorescence a branched, nearly flat-topped, terminal cluster of numerous small flowers, the branches sometimes fine-hairy; corollas rosy-pink, the petals 5, narrowly egg-shaped, 1.5-2 mm long; calyces mostly smooth on the outside, 5-lobed, the lobes triangular, erect to spreading, about 1 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens numerous.
Follicles, 4 or 5, beaked, 3-4 mm long, somewhat leathery, smooth except sometimes a few long hairs along the suture, shining; seeds several, spindle-shaped.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forest openings and edges, thickets, meadows, streambanks and open rocky slopes in the montane and subalpine zones; infrequent in S BC; amphiberingian, E to SK and S to SD, WY and OR; Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Spiraea splendens

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) 980 1507 2210
Slope Gradient (%) 0 31 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
45 195 320
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), ESSF(13), ICH(2), MS(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Spiraea splendens subsp. splendens Baumann & K. Koch

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References