Home About BFIS Species List Risk Analysis Harmonia⁺ Resources Outputs Mailing List Registry
Contact us  |  Login  | 
© Meggar
Spiraea douglasii - Douglas' spirea

French name:  Spirée de douglas
Dutch name: Douglasspirea
Family: Rosaceae
Group: Vascular plants
Origin: North America
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  agri- and horticulture
ISEIA Score : 11
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1885
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: restricted
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: medium
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Both in its native and invaded range, Douglas' spirea grows best on loamy and sandy wet soils. It is tolerant to permanently water-logged soils (peat) and widely fluctuating water tables. It occurs mainly in riparian habitats such as swamps, shrub carrs, marshes and bogs. This pioneer species needs full sunlight for optimal growth, flowering and fruiting but may survive under tree canopy. Contrary to other North American Spiraea species, Douglas' spirea may produce fertile seeds under Belgian climatic conditions. They are disseminated at a slow rate by wind in the vicinity of parent shrubs and germinate in areas free of dense plant cover. This shrub has been increasingly observed in the wild in Belgium during the last decade.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)
Endangered areas
low risk
medium risk
high risk

Endangered Natura 2000 habitats ():
heath & scrub: 4010
grasslands: 641065106520
bogs, mires & fens: 7120
forest habitats: 9110912091D0*91E0*
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: low
Competition: high
Disease transmission: low
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: unknown
Physical alteration: high
Natural successions: high
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: Douglas' spirea is a fast-growing rhizomatous shrub, propagating clonally. It easily form dense monospecific thickets that can colonise large areas, displace other plant species and dominate communities in wetland areas (probably via allelopathic interactions). It can be invasive in its native range and colonise rapidly clearcut areas. It has been reported to be a serious danger to native plant communities in Belgium. Old dry plant shoots are vulnerable to early ignition and may be the cause of fires.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Dupriez Pascal, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  13 December 2010
Last update:  16 December 2010
AEF (2006)
Cartes provisoires de la distribution de néophytes en Wallonie.
Unpublished document.
Brooks, L. (2006)
Western spirea, Spiraea douglasii.
College of forest resources, University of Washington.
Duvigneaud, J. (1975)
Les Spiréoidées (Rosaceae, Spiraeoidae) en Belgique et dans les régions voisines.
Natura Mosana 28: 33-55.
Esser, L. L. (1995)
Spiraea douglasii.
In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Jacquemyn, H., Verheyen, K., Muys, B. & Hermy, M. (2002)
Wanneer een exoot overheersend wordt : Douglas-spirae in het Universiteitsbos te Hamont-Achel.
Natuur.focus 1(3): 92-96.
Lambinon, J., Delvosalle, L. & Duvigneaud, J. (2004)
Nouvelle fore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines.
Editions du Patrimoine du Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise.
Meilleur, A. , Veronneau, H. & Bouchard, A. (1994)
Shrub communities as inhibitors of succession in Southern Quebec.
Environmental Management 18: 907-921.
Morita, S. (2006)
Allelopathic potential of Spiraea species.
Journal of Weed Science and Technology 51(3): 172-177.
Morita, S., Hiradate, S., Fujii, Y. & Harada, J. (2005)
Cis-Cinnamoyl glucoside as a major plant growth inhibitor contained in Spiraea prunifolia.
Plant Growth Regulation 46: 125–131.
Paulus, B. (2009)
Etude de la régénération et de la sélection d’habitat de trois espèces de spirées exotiques (S. alba, S. douglasii et S. xbillardii).
Travail de fin d'études, FUSAGx, 66 pp.
Van Landuyt, W., Hoste, I., Vanhecke, L., Van den Bremt, P. Vercruysse, W. & De Beer, D. (2006)
Atlas van de Flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest.
Nationale Plantentuin en het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek i.s.m. Flo.Wer vzw.
Verloove, F. (2006)
Catalogue of the Neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005).
Scripta Botanica Belgica 39, 89 pp.
Weber, E. & Gut, D. (2004)
Assessing the risk of potentially invasive plant species in central Europe.
Journal for Nature Conservation12: 171-179.

© 2000-2021 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform