Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Spiraea chamaedryfolia
(germander meadowsweet)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Spiraea chamaedryfolia (germander meadowsweet)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 03 January 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Spiraea chamaedryfolia
  • Preferred Common Name
  • germander meadowsweet
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Spiraea chamaedryfolia is a fast-growing, perennial shrub native to temperate Asia and southeastern Europe. It has been introduced in western and northern parts of Europe and in North America as an ornamental a...

  • There are no pictures available for this datasheet

    If you can supply pictures for this datasheet please contact:

    Compendia
    CAB International
    Wallingford
    Oxfordshire
    OX10 8DE
    UK
    compend@cabi.org
  • Distribution map More information

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Spiraea chamaedryfolia L.

Preferred Common Name

  • germander meadowsweet

Other Scientific Names

  • Spiraea banatica Janka
  • Spiraea belgica Dumort.
  • Spiraea flexuosa Fisch. ex Cambess.
  • Spiraea oblongata Wender.
  • Spiraea prostrata Shur
  • Spiraea ulmifolia Scop.
  • Spiraea ussuriensis Pojark.

International Common Names

  • English: elm-leaf spiraea
  • Chinese: shi can ye xio xian ju

Local Common Names

  • Dominican Republic: rapina herbacea; reina del prado
  • Sweden: kvastspirea

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

Spiraea chamaedryfolia is a fast-growing, perennial shrub native to temperate Asia and southeastern Europe. It has been introduced in western and northern parts of Europe and in North America as an ornamental and hedge plant. It has often escaped from cultivation and it can be found naturalized in areas near gardens, parks, cemeteries and along roadsides. It also persists after cultivation in old garden sites and has the potential to become naturalized and invasive, particularly in disturbed areas. The species spreads and multiplies rapidly through root offshoots and seeds and as it grows, it forms large, dense monospecific stands that outcompete and displace native species. The species is invasive in the Dominican Republic and in Lithuania.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Rosales
  •                         Family: Rosaceae
  •                             Genus: Spiraea
  •                                 Species: Spiraea chamaedryfolia

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

The family Rosaceae comprises 90 genera and 2520 species of herbs, shrubs and trees distributed worldwide, but particularly in the northern hemisphere (Stevens, 2012). This family contains economically important species, often used for ornamental purposes and for their edible fruits, e.g. from the genera Potentilla, Prunus, Geum, Alchemilla, Sorbus and Rosa. The genus Spiraea includes approximately 120 to 130 species that occur in North America, Europe and Asia. Many of these species are ornamental plants, long established in horticulture and often cultivated in gardens and parks (Lu and Alexander, 2003; Lis, 2014). Consequently, many horticultural hybrids have been developed. Hybridisation also occurs in natural settings, complicating the identification of species and varieties (Lis, 2014).

Description

Top of page

The following description is from the Flora of China Editorial Committee (2017):

Shrubs 1-1.5 m tall. Branchlets brownish or red-brown, turning grey-brown when old, slender, sometimes flexuose, slightly angled, glabrous; buds long ovoid, with two scales, glabrous or sparsely puberulous on scale margins, apex acuminate. Petiole 4-7 mm, glabrous or sparsely pilose; leaf blade broadly ovate, 2-4.5 x 1-3 mm, tufted pubescent in vein axils abaxially, glabrous adaxially, base rounded or broadly cuneate, margin minutely sharply serrate and doubly serrate (or on sterile branchlets sometimes incised doubly serrate), apex acute. Racemes pedunculate, umbellate, 2-4 x 2-3 mm, 5-12 flowers; rachis and pedicels glabrous; pedicels 6-10 mm; bracts linear, 2-3 mm, glabrous, caducous. Flowers 6-9 mm in diameter. Hypanthium broadly campanulate, glabrous abaxially. Sepals ovate-triangular, 1.5-2.5 x 1.5-2 mm, reflexed in fruit, apex acute. Petals white, broadly ovate or suborbicular, 2.5-3.5 x 2-3 mm, glabrous, base shortly clawed, apex obtuse or somewhat incised. Stamens 35-50, longer than petals. Disk undulate annular. Carpels puberulous on adaxial suture; styles shorter than stamens. Follicles erect, appressed pubescent; styles terminal on adaxial side, slightly spreading.

Distribution

Top of page

S. chamaedryfolia is native to temperate Asia (including China, Japan and Russia) and much of southeastern Europe (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017). It has also been introduced and has naturalized across western and northern parts of Europe (Rutkovska et al., 2011; Lis, 2014; DAISIE, 2017Roskov et al., 2017). This species is invasive in the Dominican Republic and in Lithuania (Straigyté and Beniušis, 2011; Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, 2012). It is also introduced in Canada and the USA (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-HebeiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-HeilongjiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-HenanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-JilinPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-LiaoningPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-ShanxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
-XinjiangPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
JapanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
-HokkaidoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
-HonshuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
-KyushuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
KazakhstanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
Korea, DPRPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
KyrgyzstanPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017
MongoliaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
UzbekistanPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedPresent based on regional distribution
-OntarioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2017
USAPresentIntroducedPresent based on regional distribution
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2017Fairfield
-New YorkPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2017Madison, Otsego

Central America and Caribbean

Dominican RepublicPresentIntroduced Invasive Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, 2012; Roskov et al., 2017

Europe

AustriaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
BelarusPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
BelgiumPresentIntroducedVerloove, 2006; Roskov et al., 2017
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
BulgariaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
CroatiaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
Czech RepublicPresentIntroducedPyšek et al., 2002; Roskov et al., 2017
DenmarkPresentIntroducedWeidema, 2000; Roskov et al., 2017
EstoniaPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
FinlandPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
FrancePresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
GermanyPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
GreecePresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
ItalyPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
LatviaPresentIntroducedRutkovska et al., 2011; Roskov et al., 2017
LithuaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Straigyté and Beniušis, 2011; Roskov et al., 2017
MacedoniaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
MoldovaPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
MontenegroPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
NorwayPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
RomaniaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
Russian FederationPresentNativePresent based on regional distribution
-Russian Far EastPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017
-Western SiberiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2017
SerbiaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
SlovakiaPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
SloveniaPresentNativeRoskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017
SwedenPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
SwitzerlandPresentIntroducedRoskov et al., 2017
UKPresentIntroducedClement and Foster, 1994; Roskov et al., 2017
UkrainePresentNativeMosyakin and Yavorska, 2002; Roskov et al., 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017Recorded as native and introduced in the country

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

S. chamaedryfolia has been extensively introduced across Europe and North America since the 1870s.

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

S. chamaedryfolia is a popular ornamental plant that rapidly spreads from both seed and root shoots. Therefore, the probability of new introductions and its subsequent naturalisation is very high, especially in the northern hemisphere, where it is often cultivated.

Habitat

Top of page

S. chamaedryfolia grows in disturbed sites and slopes, in mixed forests, forest edges, old pastures, farms and along roadsides and streams at elevations between 600 and 1000 metres (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017).

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

The chromosome number reported for S. chamaedryfolia varies from 2n = 32 to 2n = 36 (Wetschnig, 1988; Oginuma et al., 2004). Several Spiraea hybrids have been developed in cultivation. However, hybridisation also occurs outside of cultivation, complicating the identification of species and varieties (Lis, 2014).

Reproductive Biology

Flowers of species in the genus Spiraea are bisexual and often pollinated by insects (Lu and Alexander, 2003; Lis, 2014).

Physiology and Phenology

In China, S. chamaedryfolia flowers from May to June and fruits from July to September (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017). In North America, it flowers from May to July and fruits from June to October (Lis, 2014).

Environmental Requirements

S. chamaedryfolia prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It is well adapted to growing in a wide variety of soil types with a pH in the range of 4.5 and 7.5.

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Tolerated Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Top of page
Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30-45 600 1000

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -20
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 10 18

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

Species in the genus Spiraea are wild hosts of Aphis spiraecola (spirea aphid), an invasive aphid species with a worldwide distribution. A. spiraecola can cause leaf rolling and damage to flowers and fruits of S. chamaedryfolia.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Natural Dispersal

S. chamaedryfolia spreads both by seed and vegetatively via root offshoots (Rutkovska et al., 2011; Lis, 2014; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017).

Intentional Introduction

S. chamaedryfolia is a shrub that has been intentionally and widely introduced as an ornamental plant and a hedge plant (Lu and Alexander, 2003; Lis, 2014).

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Environmental Impact

Top of page

S. chamaedryfolia has escaped from cultivation and naturalized in disturbed areas. It grows rapidly, forming large, dense monospecific stands that outcompete and displace native species (Rutkovska et al., 2011). Currently, it is spreading across Europe and is listed as invasive in Lithuania and the Dominican Republic (Pyšek et al., 2002; Verloove, 2006; Straigyté and Beniušis, 2011; Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, 2012; Roskov et al., 2017).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Hybridization
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

Top of page

S. chamaedryfolia is cultivated as an ornamental and hedge plant in gardens and parks (Lis, 2014).

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Control

Physical/Mechanical Control

There is no information available for the physical control of S. chamaedryfolia. However, cutting and mowing can be effective in controlling small populations of the closely related species S. japonica. Repeated mowing or cutting controls the spread of S. japonica, but is unlikely to eradicate it (Remaley, 2003).

Chemical Control

There is no information available for the chemical control of S. chamaedryfolia. However, herbicides such as glyphosate and triclopyr have been recommended for the control of S. japonica (Remaley, 2003).     

References

Top of page

Clement E J, Foster MC, 1994. Alien plants of the British Isles: a provisional catalogue of vascular plants (excluding grasses), Botanical Society of the British Isles.xviii + 590 pp.

DAISIE, 2017. Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe. European Invasive Alien Species Gateway. www.europe-aliens.org/default.do

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Lis R, 2014. Spiraea. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 9. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=131015

Lu LD, Alexander C, 2003. Rosaceae. In: Flora of China, Volume 9, 46-434

Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, 2012. Estrategia Nacional de Especies Exóticas Invasoras Realizado en el marco del Proyecto “Mitigando las amenazas de las especies exóticas invasoras en el Caribe Insular”. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, 35 pp

Mosyakin SL, Yavorska OG, 2002. The nonnative flora of the Kiev (Kyiv) urban area, Ukraine: a checklist and brief analysis. Urban Habitats

Oginuma K, Tatarenko IV, Kondo K, 2004. Karyomorphology of eight species of Spiraea (Rosaceae) in Russia. Chromosome Science, 8:23-28

Pyšek P, Sádlo J, Mandák B, 2002. Catalogue of alien plants of the Czech Republic. Preslia, 74(2), 97-186.

Remaley T, 2003. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council. https://www.se-eppc.org/manual/japspiraea.html

Roskov Y, Abucay L, Orrell T, et al., eds., 2017. Catalogue of Life. Leiden, Netherlands: Naturalis. http://www.catalogueoflife.org/

Rutkovska S, Pucka I, Novicka I, 2011. Analysis of invasive flora in cemetery territories of the city of Daugavpils. Environment Technology Resources. Proceedings of the 8th International Scientific and Practical Conference, Volume 2. Rezekne, Latvia: Rezekne Higher Education Institution 344-351

Stevens PF, 2012. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/

Straigyté L, Beniušis A, 2011. Impact of the invasive shrub spread on spring vetch (Vicia lathyroides L.) in Palanga Park. Proceedings of the Biennial International Symposium, Forest and Sustainable Development, Bra?ov, Romania, 15-16th October 2010, 295-300.

USDA-ARS, 2017. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl

USDA-NRCS, 2017. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Verloove F, 2006. Catalogue of neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005). Scripta Botanica Belgica, 39, 89 pp.

Weidema I, 2000. Introduced species in the Nordic countries. Copenhagen, Denmark: Nordic Council of Ministers, 243 pp

Wetschnig VW, 1988. Chromosomenzahlen Kärntner Gefässpflanzen (Teil 1). Carinthia, 178:391-401

Contributors

Top of page

16/08/17 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map