Spirea cultivars with intense red foliage

Spiraea japonica 'DAVCOP01' MerloStar - photo: Sapho

Spiraea japonica ‘DAVCOP01’ MerloStar – photo: Sapho

Spiraea japonica ‘DAVCOP01’ MerloStar was one of the entries for the new plants competition Innovert 2018 of the French trade fair Salon du Végétal which was held this week (June 19-21). This selection of Spiraea is characterised by the remarkable intense copper red colour of the young foliage, providing a contrast with the yellow foliage of the older wood. “This compact, cushion-shaped variety provides good coverage, making it ideal for large beds, as well as small spaces or even tubs. The yellow foliage copes well with the summer sun and is highly resistant to powdery mildew.”

Spiraea japonica ‘DAVCOP01’ is bred by Jean Paul Davasse. The breeder conducts “a controlled breeding program” in Angers, France. The goal of this program is developing  new cultivars of Spiraea that exhibits young foliage that is copper red in color combined with deep pink-red flowers. French agency Sapho is responsible for the royalty management of MerloStar.

‘Remarkable intensity’

Davasse’s program also gave birth to Spiraea japonica MerloGold ‘DAVCOP04’. Sapho: “In Spring, the foliage of MerloGold has a remarkable intensity, mixing young firey-red shoots and small lemon-yellow leaves. In summer the foliage remains yellow. It has a naturally round and regular habit. In June it is covered with a multitude of small dark red flowers. Removing the first faded corymbs will encourage a second flowering.”

Rainbow Fizz Spirea

Spiraea japonica ‘Matgold’ is another cultivar that derives from this program. It is characterized by compact plant habit, its leaves that are copper red in color when young, changing to lemon gold in summer and changing to copper red in fall, and its flowers that open reddish pink in color and change to pink.” Van Belle Nursery in Canada applied for Plant Patent. This patent was granted in January 2018. It is marketed in North America as Poprocks Rainbow Fizz Spirea, part of Van Belle’s Bloomin’ Easy line.