Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Crispa Japanese Spirea

{Picture of Crispa Japanese Spirea}

Plant Information

  • Scientific Name: Spiraea japonica 'Crispa' Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Spirea
  • Parent: Spiraea japonica
  • Related Cultivars:

    Spiraea japonica 'Froebelii'
    Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame'
    Spiraea japonica 'Goldmound'
    Spiraea japonica 'Gumball'
    Spiraea japonica 'Albiflora'
    Spiraea japonica 'Anthony Waterer'
    Spiraea japonica 'Dart's Red'
    Spiraea japonica 'Little Princess'
    Spiraea japonica 'Norman'
    Spiraea japonica 'Shibori' ('Shirobana')

  • Zone: 4
  • Plant Size: 2-3'
  • Bloom Color: Pink
  • Habit: Mounded
  • Culture:

    Very adaptable. Full sun to light shade.

  • Notes:

    Reddish-pink flowers appear in June with subsequent flushes of bloom throughout summer. The beautiful foliage is serrated and slightly twisted, burgundy when expanding and turning to deep red in fall. One of the finest S. japonica cultivar that is also the least shade tolerant, and for this reason should only be planted in full sun. This is a sterile cultivar and can be safely used in areas where this species has shown the potential to become invasive. 

  • Additional Information on S. japonica:

    Although this species has shown the ability to become an invasive weed in the Eastern U.S. and Europe, it has not yet escaped into natural areas in the upper Midwest. In areas where the naturalization of this species is a concern, there are three sterile cultivars that can be used without risk of escape: Crispa, Dart's Red and Neon Flash.

    Many of the cultivars recorded here are often erroneously listed under the synonym Spiraea x bumalda. Here all of these cultivars are correctly listed under S. japonica.

  • Pruning:Pruning animation

    Annually, cut the entire plant back 1/2 to 2/3's of the way. Following this remove any large, old canes as close to the ground as possible which will stimulate new sprouts to develop below the cuts.

    This type of pruning should be done when the plant is dormant, late fall to early spring.

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University

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