Home About BFIS Species List Risk Analysis Harmonia⁺ Resources Outputs Mailing List Registry
Contact us  |  Login  | 
© Etienne Branquart, Belgian Biodiversity Platform
© Grégory Motte, MRW
© Etienne Branquart, Belgian Biodiversity Platform
© Etienne Branquart, Belgian Biodiversity Platform
© Grégory Motte, MRW
Spiraea alba - Meadowsweet

French name:  Spirée blanche
Dutch name: Witte spirea
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: 1803
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: restricted
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: medium
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Meadowsweet prefers moist to wet conditions and grows on soil with abundant nutrients and organic material (including peat). It is tolerant to temporary water-logged soils. It occurs mainly in riparian habitats such as river banks, wet meadows, swamps, ditches and bogs. This pioneer species needs full sunlight for optimal growth, flowering and fruiting but may survive under tree canopy. Seedlings have never been observed in the wild in Belgium. This shrub reproduces mainly vegetatively and may be propagated via garden waste or waterflow.
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 ():
grasslands: 64306510
forest habitats: 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: Spiraea alba is a fast-growing rhizomatous species, propagating clonally. It forms stable and very dense shrub communities that can expand over large areas and displace native plant species. The dense cover of this plant prevents tree regeneration and inhibits the successional process towards a forest stage. This species is locally considered as a weed in its native range. Old dry plant shoots are vulnerable to early ignition and may be the cause of fires.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  13 December 2010
Last update:  13 December 2010
AEF (2006)
Cartes provisoires de la distribution de néophytes en Wallonie.
Unpublished document.
Duvigneaud, J. (1975)
Les Spiréoidées (Rosaceae, Spiraeoidae) en Belgique et dans les régions voisines.
Natura Mosana 28: 33-55.
Hall, I.V., Murray, I.R. & Jackson, L.P. (1974)
The biology of Canadian weeds. 2, Spiraea latifolia.
Can. J. Plant Sci. 54:. l4l-147.
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.
Other Internet Links

© 2000-2023 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform