Spireas are shrubs with slender wandlike twigs, narrow-based and mostly toothed leaves, papery bark that often flakes oH, and raised leaf scars with only 1 bundle scar. Leafstalks characteristically are short. Twig ends often wither in winter; some twigs may retain scales at their bases as in the honeysuckles (Plate 14) and some other opposite-leaved plants. Clusters of tiny dry 5-parted fruits often arc present at twig tips following white or pink flowers.
On Plate 66 are several plants also with toothed leaves, 1 bundle scar, and small dry fruits. Sourwood and the sweetbells have raised leaf scars, Maleberry has smaller buds with more than
2 scales, Pepperbushes have true end buds smaller or lacking. The New Jersey teas (Plate 43) have only saucer-shaped remnants of fruit present in winter, and Sweet-spires (Plate 59) has
3 bundle scars and chambered pith.
Spirea buds are eaten by ruffed and sharptail grouse and twigs by rabbits and deer.
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