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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spiraea \Spi*r[ae]"a\, n. [L., fr. Gr. ???, fr. ??? a coil.] (Bot.) A genus of shrubs or perennial herbs including the meadowsweet and the hardhack.


Spiraeic \Spi*r[ae]"ic\, a. (Chem.) Of, pertaining to, or derived from, the meadowsweet ( Spir[ae]a); formerly, designating an acid which is now called salicylic acid.


n. (alternative form of spirea English)

  1. n. a Japanese shrub that resembles members of the genus Spiraea; widely cultivated in many varieties for its dense panicles of flowers in many colors; often forced by florists for Easter blooming [syn: spirea, Astilbe japonica]

  2. any rosaceous plant of the genus Spiraea; has sprays of small white or pink flowers [syn: spirea]

  3. a dicotyledonous genus of the family Rosaceae [syn: genus Spiraea]


Spiraea , 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 Filipendula and Aruncus; recent genetic evidence has shown that Filipendula is only distantly related to Spiraea, belonging in the subfamily Rosoideae.

Usage examples of "spiraea".

Not long ago I was cutting away a thicket of wild spiraea which was crowding in upon the cultivated land.