Habit and Form
Note: This plant is confused with Spiraea x bumalda, so it may be advisable to refer to the cultivar listings for this species if you are unable to locate a particular cultivar here.
var. alpina (often listed as 'Alpina' and 'Nana', probably the same as 'Nyewoods') - This form grows as a low, spreading groundcover to 2' tall and several feet wide. It produces light pink blooms a few days later than other forms, and the flowers contrast well with the small, blue-green finely-textured leaves.
'Golden Elf' - Setting a new standard for dwarf forms, this plant only grows to 10" tall with yellow leaves. The pink blooms are produced sporadically on a spreading 2' groundcover.
'Lisp' (Golden Princess®) - A new form out of England, this 2' tall mound bears bright yellow leaves that start out bronzy-orange. The bright pink flowers grace the 3' wide mound in early summer.
'Little Princess' - Very popular at garden centers, this green-leaved form bears bright pink flowers on a 3' tall and wide mound. It has proven very useful as a groundcover, massing plant, etc. Deadheading can prolong the bloom period.
'Magic Carpet' - One of the most vibrantly colored forms, the bronzy-yellow leaves of this 2' tall and wide mound emerge red and the plant retains red-tipped branches all season. Therefore, it appears to be in bloom at all times, even though it does produce pink true flowers. The leaves can also turn reddish before falling in autumn. In full sun, this plant offers color all season.
'Mertyann' (Dakota Goldcharm®) - One of the smallest gold-leaved forms, this plant reaches 18" tall and forms a mound 3' wide. The pink blooms contrast with the yellow foliage, which is bronze at the growing tips.
'Neon Flash' - An improved green-leaved form, this new selection sports deeper red blooms throughout the summer, especially if the 3' tall and wide mound is regularly deadheaded.
'Norman' - An adaptable little plant that can perform adequately in sun or part shade, this 3' tall and wide compact mound offers pink flowers among the green leaves. The red-purple fall color is an added benefit.
'Shirobana' (also frequently listed as 'Shibori') - The most trumpeted feature of this plant is its production of rose, pink and white flower clusters on the same plant. While some individual plants do indeed express this feature, it appears that others are predominated by pink blooms most often. In any case, this mounded plant (to 4' tall and wide with age) is still a worthy ornamental. The leaves are a very high quality, glossy deep green and the plant shows good sporadic reflowering after the heavy initial flush in early summer. It grows well in sun or light shade and is very popular in commerce.