, producing tiny white and pink buds.

Most bridal-wreath shrubs are spring bloomers with numerous tiny pink or white flowers. Also known as the Vanhoutte spirea, it grows six to eight feet tall and 10 to 12 feet in diameter. The bridal-wreath has a disnctly fountainlike growth habit, with a round top and arching branches that curve to the ground, covered with tufts of small white flowers all the way. The bridal-wreath has small greenish-blue leaves, turning plum-colored in the fall.

How to grow: Although the shrub will grow well in medium shade, full sun produces more flowers. It adapts well to most soils. To keep the bridal-wreath in top shape, prune back one-third of the old flowering wood each year after it finishes blooming.

Uses: An excellent accent plant, the bridal-wreath is also good for informal hedges or screens and is well suited to mixed shrub borders.

Related species: The garland spirea (Spiraea x aguta) is similar to the bridal-wreath but has less pendulous branches and a better covering of flowers in spring. The bumalda spireas (Spiraea x bumalda) are summer-flowering spireas with pink to whitish flowers.

Scientific name: Spiraea vanhouttei

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