Virginia spiraea (Spiraea virginiana)

Federal Register | Recovery | Critical Habitat | Conservation Plans | Petitions | Life History

Listing Status:   


General Information

The Virginia spiraea is found in the Appalachian Plateaus or the southern Blue Ridge Mountains in Alabama, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia. It no longer occurs in Pennsylvania. This plant was first discovered in Virginia in 1985. Most of the existing populations consist of only a few clumps. Mature plants reach a height of three to ten feet. Young stems are greenish-yellow to dark brown and mature stems are dark gray. The roots form a complex system. The creamy white flowers are in tightly packed bunches.

Current Listing Status Summary
Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
06/15/1990 Northeast Region (Region 5) Wherever found

» Federal Register Documents

Federal Register Documents
Date Citation Page Title
06/15/1990 55 FR 24241 24247 ETWP; Threatened Status Determined for Spiraea virginiana (Virginia spiraea); 55 FR 24241 24247
01/23/2008 73 FR 3991 3993 Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of 10 Listed Species
07/21/1989 54 FR 30577 30581 ETWP; Proposed Threatened Status for Spirae virginiana (Virgina Spiraea); 54 FR 30577 30581

» Recovery

Current Recovery Plan(s)
Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
11/13/1992 Virginia Spiraea View Implementation Progress Final
Other Recovery Documents
Date Citation Page Title Document Type
01/23/2008 73 FR 3991 3993 Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of 10 Listed Species
  • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation

» Critical Habitat

No critical habitat rules have been published for the Virginia spiraea.

» Conservation Plans

No conservation plans have been created for Virginia spiraea.

» Petitions

» Life History

Habitat Requirements

Virginia spiraea is found along scoured banks of high gradient streams or on meander scrolls, point bars, natural levees, and braided features of lower stream reaches. In Virginia, soils are sandy, silty, or clay and elevation range is 1000- 2400 feet. If the roots are exposed, they will give rise to upright stems.

Reproductive Strategy

Seed production is sporadic and seedlings have never been documented in the wild. Sexual reproduction is rare indicating the genetic variability within and probably between stream occurrences is low. Few mature seeds and no seedlings have been observed. Little population expansion has been reported. Late summer and fall flower bunches often dry and persist during the winter, making field identification possible.


Fragmentation by erosion or scour and subsequent downstream travel may be the most important means of dispersal for this species. The most important factor in maintaining this plant seems to be removal of woody competition by erosion. Scour must be sufficient to remove woody trees and vines without washing out the horizontal root.

» Other Resources

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ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

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