Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

White Frost™ Birchleaf Spirea from Garden Debut

Growing up in Ohio, several rounded shrubs of the straight species of Birchleaf Spirea, Spirea betulifolia, grew across the back of our neighbors’ garage. Reliably every spring or early summer, fountains of white flowers (actually flat-topped cymes of tiny flowers) would coat each arching branch of this rounded native shrub. We called it “bridal wreath” and one tiny cyme was just the right size for a Barbie doll wedding bouquet.

The new White Frost™ Birchleaf Spirea from Garden Debut®  is an improvement over the species, with a lovely range of fall color including shades of purple, orange, yellow and rust. In summer, the leaves are a dark green and iridescent silver-green beneath. White Frost™ is a long-lived, deciduous shrub that grows at a moderate rate to reach a height and width of three feet. In the Rosaceae, its tiny white flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds, but this cultivar is sterile and does not set seed. 

White Frost™ Birchleaf Spirea has average water needs but a low tolerance to drought. It is adaptable, accepting a pH of 5.5 to 7.5 and /USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8. It is also good in containers. White Frost™ Spirea is botanically known as Spirea betulifola ‘Tor’ and is vegetatively propagated by permit. Contact your independent Garden Center to locate this shrub for your garden. 

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