, Spiraea sometimes spelled  spirea in common names, and commonly known as meadowsweets or steeplebushes, 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.
The genus formerly included the herbaceous species now
segregated into the genera and Filipendula ; recent Aruncus genetic evidence has shown that Filipendula is only distantly related to Spiraea, belonging in the subfamily Rosoideae.
Description 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. Stipules are absent.
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.
Ecology Spiraea species are used as food plants by the larvae of many Lepidoptera species, including the brown-tail, the small emperor moth, the grey dagger, the setaceous Hebrew character, and the moth .
The leaves of
S. betulifolia are eaten by blue grouse in spring, and the plant is browsed by deer in summer.
Native Americans ate the species S. betulifolia.
Many species of
Spiraea are used as ornamental plants in temperate climates, particularly for their showy clusters of dense flowers. Some species bloom in the spring, others in midsummer.
The following species,
hybrids and cultivars are among those found in cultivation:
S. × cinerea
S. × pseudosalicifolia
S. 'Snow White'
S. × vanhouttei S. veitchii 
Spiraea 'Arguta' (bridal wreath) and  Spiraea × cinerea 'Grefsheim' have won the  Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Traditional medicine Spiraea contain salicylates. Acetylsalicylic acid was first isolated from a species at the time classified in the genus Filipendula ulmaria, Spiraea. The word "aspirin" was coined by adding a- (for acetylation) to spirin, from the German Spirsäure, a reference to Spiraea.  
Native American groups have various medicinal uses for local
Spiraea species. S. betulifolia is used for abdominal pain and made into a tea. The  Blackfoot use S. splendens root in an enema and to treat venereal conditions.
Native Americans found
S. douglasii useful for making brooms and hanging seafood to cook.
Formerly placed here
There are also numerous named
hybrids, some occurring naturally in the wild, others bred in gardens, including several important ornamental plants:
Spiraea × arguta ( S. × multiflora × S. thunbergii) - garland spiraea
Spiraea × billiardii ( S. douglasii × S. salicifolia) - Billiard's spiraea
Spiraea × blanda ( S. nervosa × S. cantoniensis)
Spiraea × brachybotrys ( S. canescens × S. douglasii)
Spiraea × bumalda ( S. japonica × S. albiflora)
Spiraea × cinerea ( S. hypericifolia × S. cana)
Spiraea × conspicua ( S. japonica × S. latifolia)
Spiraea × fontenaysii ( S. canescens × S. salicifolia)
Spiraea × foxii ( S. japonica × S. betulifolia)
Spiraea × gieseleriana ( S. cana × S. chamaedryfolia)
Spiraea × macrothyrsa ( S. douglasii × S. latifolia)
Spiraea × multiflora ( S. crenata × S. hypericifolia)
Spiraea × notha ( S. betulifolia × S. latifolia)
Spiraea × nudiflora ( S. chamaedryfolia × S. bella)
Spiraea × pikoviensis ( S. crenata × S. media)
Spiraea × pyramidata ( S. betulifolia × S. douglasii) - pyramid spiraea
Spiraea × revirescens ( S. amoena × S. japonica)
Spiraea × sanssouciana ( S. japonica × S. douglasii)
Spiraea × schinabeckii ( S. chamaedryfolia × S. trilobata)
Spiraea × semperflorens ( S. japonica × S. salicifolia)
Spiraea × vanhouttei ( S. trilobata × S. cantoniensis) - Van Houtte's spiraea Spiraea × watsoniana ( S. douglasii × S. densiflora)
Sunset Western Garden Book. 1995. 606-07.
^ a b
Flora of China. Spiraea.
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Reiner, Ralph E. (1969). Introducing the Flowering Beauty of Glacier National Park and the Majestic High Rockies. Glacier Park, Inc. p. 20.
RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN . 978-1405332965
". RHS Spiraea 'Arguta '" . Retrieved 2021.
". RHS Spiraea × cinerea 'Grefsheim '" . Retrieved 2021.
Scott, David L.; Kingsley, Gabrielle H. (2007). "Symptomatic drug treatment" (PDF). Inflammatory Arthritis in Clinical Practice. pp. 48-64. doi: 10.1007/978-1-84628-933-0_3. ISBN . 978-1-84628-932-3
^ Harper, D.
aspirin. Online Etymology Dictionary. 2013.
^ Weiss, H. J. (1974).
Aspirin - A dangerous drug? JAMA 229(9), 1221-22.
Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn. Spiraea betulifolia.
Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn. Spiraea splendens.
Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn. Spiraea douglasii.
English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 644. ISBN . Archived from 978-89-97450-98-5 the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017 . Retrieved 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.