Spiraea

Spiraea sometimes spelt spirea in common names, is a genus of about 80 to 100 species of shrubs in the family Rosaceae. They are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the greatest diversity in eastern Asia. Spiraea plants are hardy, deciduous-leaved shrubs. The leaves are simple and usually short-stalked and are arranged in a spiralling, alternate fashion. In most species, the leaves are lanceolate (narrowly oval) and about 2.5 to 10 centimetres (0.98 to 3.94 in) long. The leaf margins are usually toothed, occasionally cut or lobed, and rarely smooth. The many small flowers of Spiraea shrubs are clustered together in inflorescences, usually in dense panicles, umbrella-like corymbs, or grape-like clusters. The radial symmetry of each flower is five-fold, with the flowers usually bisexual, rarely unisexual. The flowers have five sepals and five white, pink, or reddish petals that are usually longer than the sepals. Each flower has many (15 to 60) stamens. The fruit is an aggregate of follicles. Spiraea contains salicylates. Acetylsalicylic acid was first isolated from Filipendula ulmaria, a species at the time classified in the genus Spiraea. The word “aspirin” was coined by adding a- (for acetylation) to spirin, from the German Spirsäure, a reference to Spiraea. Credit: Wikipedia.