SPIRAEA JAPONICA 'GOLDFLAME'

Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame'
Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame'
Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame' is a popular ornamental foliage and flowering garden plant. The original species is a native to the wetland habitats of Japan, China, and Korea, while the 'Goldflame' cultivar is a selected form developed in America, entering general production in the early 1970s.

Botanical illustration of Spiraea japonica
Botanical illustration of Spiraea japonica 
It is a small, compact deciduous shrub which under favourable conditions can be expected to reach an approximate height and spread of between 1-2 metres. Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame' is usually a little wider than it is tall. It is particularly noted for its striking spring foliage which emerges a rich bronze-red, turning a light russet-orange as they mature. By the end of the growing season they lose some of their attractiveness ending up a rather dull greenish-yellow. Each serrated-edged leaf is formed alternately on wiry stems, ovate in shape and approximately 2.5 cm to 7.5 cm long. There can be some reversion of the leaves back to the original deep green and these stems should be removed immediately.

The deep, rosy-red blooms are small, appearing on widely spaced corymbs (flattened or convex flower cluster) 10-15 cm across from July to August. Periodic blooms will continue to appear until the end of the growing seasons.

To get the best effect out of the colourful foliage, position Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame' in full sun, although the plant itself can tolerate partial shade. It is suitable for planting in a wide range of soil types, but a rich, moist loam is prefered. Water well during the first year and avoid conditions where the roots can become waterlogged.

For compact growth and larger flowers prune back the stems in late winter to within 10 cm of ground level as the flowers are formed on new wood.

Spiraea japonica 'Goldflame' received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1984.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW EUCRYPHIA X NYMANSENSIS 'Nymansay'
HOW TO GROW SPIRAEA ARGUTA 'BRIDAL WREATH'
HOW TO GROW SPIRAEA JAPONICA 'GOLDFLAME'
SPIRAEA JAPONICA 'GOLDFLAME'