spi·​rea | \ spī-ˈrē-ə How to pronounce spirea (audio) \
variants: or spiraea

Definition of spirea

1 : 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
2 : 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 Double Play Doozie is a Japanese spirea that also fits the bill. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "Sunflowers in October? Breeders are racing to develop plants that flower again and again.," 21 Aug. 2019 Steve Stash of Dove Creek Nursery restored the garden to its original style as dictated by landscaper John Grant, who created experiences through a series of terraces with plantings of sedum, geranium, hosta, foxglove, heather and spirea. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "See four private estates during the Dunthorpe Garden Tour (photos)," 9 May 2018 Wright and others adopted pieces, from erecting pavilion-like structures to planting goldflame Japanese spirea. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "Japanese gardens can calm you, kids, prisoners: Lessons on Zen-style 'Visionary Landscapes'," 8 Feb. 2018 That disease may attack any member of the rose family, including hawthorns, mountain ash and spirea as well as apples, pears and of course roses. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Thinking of becoming a gardener? Here’s a primer for southern Idaho," 31 Jan. 2018 Like Little Princess spirea, this popular plant was given a misleading name. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Blundering Gardener: If the rain didn’t get your plants, the aphids just might," 27 May 2017 Reaching 5-12 feet, the growth habit of ninebark is a loose mound similar to a large spirea and does well incorporated into a shrub border or natural planting. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: Emerald ash borer," 4 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spirea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spirea

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spirea

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

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Time Traveler for spirea

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The first known use of spirea was in 1669

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Cite this Entry

“Spirea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spirea. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for spirea


variants: or spiraea \ spī-​ˈrē-​ə \

Kids Definition of spirea

: a shrub related to the rose that bears clusters of small white or pink flowers

More from Merriam-Webster on spirea

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spirea

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