Sorbaria sorbifolia (Ural False Spiraea)

Michael's Opinion

The Ural False Spiraea is a popular plant for mass planting because of its vigorous underground rhizomes. It will colonise large areas fairly quickly and remains controllable in areas of dry shade. It should be pruned to the ground every several years to retain the uniformity of the plantings. Its white plumes are attractive in July and are suitable for dried arrangements. I have had to remove this plant from gardens with fertile soils with the aid of a backhoe and thus it can be quite a garden thug and extreme caution needs to be exercised in its use. It may reach a height of 2 m.

Botanical Information

SynonymsSpiraea Sorbifolia
CategoryWildflowers & Weeds, Woody
TypeShrub (deciduous)
OriginEastern Siberia, Manchuria, northern China, Korea, Japan.
Ethnobotanical Uses
Leaves are edible.


USDA Hardiness Zone2 - 7
USDA Hardiness Ref.
Canada Hardiness Ref.
RHS Hardiness ZoneH6 - H7
RHS Hardiness Ref.
Temperature (°C)-20 - (-15)
Temperature (°F)-4 - 5
Height1-1.5 m
Spread1-1.5 m
Flowering PeriodJune, July

Description and Growing Information

General DescriptionLarge, deciduous suckering shrubs.
ID CharacteristicShowy flowers.
ShapeSmall, compact selection of thicket-forming shrub.
LandscapeBeds and borders, and slopes and hillsides.
PropagationSemi-hardwood cuttings in mid-summer or propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in autumn. Rooted suckers can be transplanted in winter or autumn.
CultivationBest grown in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soils in full sun. Remove root suckers to avoid spread. Prune in late winter to early spring - may be cut close to the ground to rejuvenate.
Notable SpecimensThe Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.
HabitatWoodland garden sunny edge, dappled shade and shady edge.
Bark/Stem DescriptionUpright stems.
Leaf DescriptionAttractive pinnate leaves with distinctive colouring.
Flower DescriptionSmall, white, spiraea-like flowers borne in large terminal panicles in summer.
Colour DescriptionDistinctive yellow-green flushed leaves with bright reddish-pink and bronze in spring. Leaves are green in summer, redden in autumn.