Spiraea cantoniensis

Spiraea cantoniensis, the Reeve's spiraea,[2] bridalwreath spirea, double white may, Cape may or may bush,[3] is a species of plant native to China, belonging to the rose family Rosaceae. An ornamental plant featured in gardens, it is a shrub growing up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) tall with frothy, pompom-like clusters of snow-white flowers borne along arching branches that bloom in May in its native country, hence its common name.[4]

Spiraea cantoniensis
Spiraea cantoniensis1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Spiraea
S. cantoniensis
Binomial name
Spiraea cantoniensis
  • Spiraea jiangxiensis Z.X.Yu
  • Spiraea lanceolata Comm. ex Poir.
  • Spiraea neumannii hort. ex Zabel
  • Spiraea reevesiana Lindl.


It is a deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub that reaches a size of 1–2 m height, with many thin branches, arched, flexible and glabrous. The leaves are alternate, simple, small petiolate, with 2–6 cm long green lanceolate, elliptical-rhomboidal or slightly obovate lamina, with 3 nerves parallel from its base, irregularly crenate-dentate in its distal half. The leaves may turn a yellowish red colour in autumn. Blooming in spring and snow white in colour, its flowers are hermaphroditic, actinomorphic, of ± 1 cm diameter, arranged in axillary corimbos, each with 5 free sepals, 5 white petals, numerous stamens shorter than the petals. The fruit is a poly-follicle, with 3-5 plurisemined carpidia (follicles).[5]


It is used as a screening or bordering plant alongside a fence line or as a conspicuous feature plant. May bushes prefer a full sun to partly shaded position with well drained soil, forgiving both light frost, wind, heat, poor soils and drought. It is generally best grown in cooler climates with protection from the hot afternoon sun which can cause leaf burn. Furthermore, the plant should be mulched and well-watered. Trimming and fertilisation may be need after flowering to keep a wedged growth habit and boost productive flowering in the next season.[6]



  1. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 24 September 2016
  2. ^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 24 September 2016
  3. ^ Spiraea cantoniensis
  4. ^ Lu Lingdi & Crinan Alexander, "Spiraea cantoniensis Loureiro, Fl. Cochinch. 1: 322. 1790", Flora of China
  5. ^ Flora of China Editorial Committee. 2003. Fl. China 9: 1–496. Science Press & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing & St. Louis.
  6. ^ Spiraea cantoniensis