spi·​rea spī-ˈrē-ə How to pronounce spirea (audio)
variants or spiraea
: any of a genus (Spiraea) of deciduous shrubs of the rose family with small usually white or pink flowers in dense racemes, corymbs, cymes, or panicles
: any of several garden plants resembling spireas
especially : a shrub (Astilbe japonica) of the saxifrage family

Examples of spirea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shrubs such as spirea, hydrangea and euonymus do well in most U.S. zones, as do perennials such as day lilies, phlox and false indigo. Karen Hugg, Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2024 Butterfly Bush: Just like blue mist spirea, Buddleia davidii (butterfly bush) can be cut every couple of years each spring or every year. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, 7 Apr. 2024 This also works well on potentilla and summer blooming spirea. Melinda Myers, Journal Sentinel, 5 Apr. 2024 So are ornamental species such as spirea, mountain ash, goatsbeard, and ninebark. Deb Wiley, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Feb. 2024 Knudson adds that ranunculus and spirea are also excellent choices for a spring wedding arrangement. Shelby Wax, Vogue, 13 Oct. 2023 Add white flowering dogwood branches, Queen Anne’s Lace, spirea, and white flowers to a tall cylindrical vase that’s clear, white, or blue. Katherine Owen, Southern Living, 15 Sep. 2023 This week, Jeff and Jonathan share progress reports on converting lawns into meadows - highlighting sightings of violas, tiger swallowtail butterflies, false spirea and more. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 7 July 2023 Bridal wreath spirea, an old-fashioned variety with cascading branches covered in frothy white blooms, has been a landscape favorite for decades. Sheryl Geerts, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spirea.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin Spiraea, from Latin, a plant, from Greek speiraia

First Known Use

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spirea was in 1669

Dictionary Entries Near spirea

Cite this Entry

“Spirea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spirea. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or spiraea
: any of a genus of shrubs related to the roses and having small usually white or pink flowers in dense clusters

More from Merriam-Webster on spirea

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!