Spiraea japonica var. fortunei
Japanese spirea has dispersed throughout the eastern United States, including in the mountains of North Carolina. It is most common in moist, open forests. Seeds are dispersed through water, making it common along stream banks.
Japanese spirea has beautiful pink flowers which make it a popular ornamental. These flowers grow in clusters in midsummer. Leaves are oblong and serrated (1 – 3” long). The shrub grows to 3 - 6’ tall.
Fact Sheet: Japanese Spiraea
Photo credit: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Resource Management Archive, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org