Spiraea x vanhouttei 'Pink Ice'
Variegated Vanhoutte Spirea
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Family: Rose family (Rosaceae)
Native Habitat: japan

The Vanhoutte Spirea is a wonderful old variety that was bred in France nearly 150 years ago. It's a large shrub with a gorgeous fountain-like form and weeping branches that often brush the ground. Another common name is "Bridal Wreath" and when one sees the plant if full bloom it's easy to see how it got that moniker. The weeping branches are absolutely covered in white in mid-spring. In America, it has easily been the most popular of all the Spiraeas for a very long time.

'Pink Ice' is a new take on this fine old variety. Rather than the normal green leaves of the old-timer, this newcomer sports foliage that is heavily mottled with white and with new growth and young stems flushed vivid pink. Flowers are much the same as a regular Vanhoutte but are not produced in quite as much quantity. It is also somewhat slower growing and grows to a much more manageable size for today's gardens, maxing out at probably 4 or 5 ft. rather than the maximum 10 ft. height seen on regular Vanhouttes.

Ornamental Characteristics:
Variegated leaves are heavily mottled with white. New growth and young stems flushed pink. Summer foliage is not quite as heavily variegated. One to two inch wide umbels of white flowers in mid-spring.
Habit & Growth Rate:
Somewhat slow growth rate. Will grow to 4 or 5 ft. high and wide. Vase shaped form. Branches do not weep nearly as much as those of the standard Vanhoutte.
Landscape Uses: Foundation plantings, shrub border, mixed border, specimen plant. Deer resistant.
Hardiness: Zone 3 to 8.
Easily grown in average garden soil. Full sun to light shade. If pruning is required, best time is after flowering in spring.