Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Virginia Spiraea
Spiraea virginiana
Family: Rosaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  T
USFWS Status: LT

Global Rank: G2
State Rank: S2

Riverbanks and boulder/cobble bars that periodically flood, creating scoured banks.

Species Description:
A clonal shrub often occurring in dense clumps. Stems are sparsely branched and are upright up to 1.2 m or arching with some stems touching the ground. The leaves are alternate, simple, and have variable serration. The cream-colored flowers are in showy corymbs.

Flowering Period: Early June to late July.
Fruiting Period: Early August to late September.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This Spiraea is disinguished from other species that are found in the wild by flattened branched inflorescence, with (usually) white flowers, although it is rarely found flowering in Kentucky. The leaves are oblong-oblanceolate, with an acute tip and mucronate (having a distinct thickening at tip) and are somewhat glaucous underneath.

Avoid changes in moisture/hydrologic conditions at the site. Changes could result from overstory removal, stream/wetland alteration or vegetation removal that would result in increased erosion. Exotic pest plants are a threat and should be removed.

Global Range:
Pennsylvania and Ohio south to Georgia and Tennessee. Records for Pennsylvania are historic. It occurs on streams that drain into the Ohio River and primarily within the Appalachian (Cumberland) Plateau and Blue Ridge physiographic regions, with at least one outlier in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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