Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Spiraea splendens
rosy spiraea, subalpine spiraea

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California and Nevada, east to Alberta, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Habitat: Moist forest openings and rocky slopes, middle to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Low, spreading, deciduous, freely-branched shrub from strong rhizomes, 5-10 dm. tall, with reddish-brown bark.


Leaf blades ovate-oval, bright green above, paler and strongly veined beneath, 2-4 cm. long, finely serrate half their length.


Inflorescence a dense, flat-topped panicle, 2-4 cm. broad; calyx hemispheric, 1-1.5 mm. wide, the 5 lobes triangular, 1 mm. long, erect to spreading; petals oval, bright pink to rose, 1.5-2 mm. long; stamens 25-50, the filaments pink, exceeding the petals.


Follicles 4-5, leathery, glabrous, 2.5-3 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Spiraea splendens Baumann ex K. Koch
Publication: Monatsschr. Vereines Beford. Gartenbaues Konigl. Preuss. Staaten 18(7): 294. 1875.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Spiraea betulifolia Pall. var. rosea A. Gray
Spiraea densiflora Nutt. ex Greenm. [HC]
Spiraea densiflora Nutt. ex Greenm. ssp. splendens (Baumann ex K. Koch) Abrams
Spiraea densiflora Nutt. var. densiflora [HC]
Spiraea densiflora Nutt. ex Greenm. var. splendens (Baumann ex K. Koch) C.L. Hitchc. [HC]
Spiraea lucida Dougl. ex Hook. var. rosea Greene
Spiraea splendens Baumann ex K. Koch ssp. splendens [ILBC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Spiraea splendens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Spiraea splendens checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Spiraea splendens atlas page.

CalPhotos: Spiraea splendens photos.

USDA Plants: Spiraea splendens information.

56 photographs:
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