Goldflame Spirea (Spiraea bumalda ‘Goldflame’)

Here’s a shrub that won’t grow over the living room windows, spread half-way across the driveway or send suckers up in the perennial border. It stays a compact 2’-3’ high and a little wider. It’s name comes from its spring leaf coloration which begins a russet or bronze-red mixed with yellow, changing to yellow-green and then green. The flowers are pinkish and bloom for a long time. Then again in the fall the spring leaf colors return to a golden copper-orange. This variety is very heat tolerant and has been successful in my xeriscape garden for 7-8 years. Occasional winter dieback has been slight and easily sheared off with hedge clippers. I also use the hedge clippers to remove the spent flowers after blooming.

            Because there are some reports of chlorosis ( a deficiency in iron ), it may be good to plant his shrub with a liberal amount of compost and possibly to give it seaweed if the yellow leaves with green veins show the lack of iron. Besides being well-behaved and free of pests, Goldflame Spirea offers a coloration that is useful to provide contrast from the common green.

            Other Spiraea bumalda varieties include:

Anthony Waterer, Sapho being the virus-free improved variety; pink flowers, reddish-purple fall color

Crispa- wavy, cut-leaves; red new growth Limemound- an even hardier form; lime-green leaves; orange-red fall color