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Sorbaria sorbifolia

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, mountains, riversides, roadsides, walls, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of white, dense and erect terminal flower spikes. The flowers within the spikes are small. Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a pod. The seeds ripen in September.
Dark green compound leaves, odd-pinnate. The leaves are toothed and alternate along the branches. Sometimes the leaves turn red in autumn. Garden escape species.
Other Names:
False Goat's Beard, False Spiraea, Sorb-leaved Schizonotus, Ural False Spiraea.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Sorbaria sorbifolia, also known as False Spiraea or Ural False Spiraea, is a species of deciduous perennial shrub in the family Rosaceae. It is native to Asia, specifically, in the area of Ural Mountains, and can be found in damp, shady places and along streams. The plant grows to a height of 2-4 m, has a spreading habit and forms a dense bush. The leaves are compound, feathery and fern-like, with green color during the summer and become yellow or red in fall. The flowers are white, pink or red, arranged in dense clusters at the end of branches and blooms in late spring. It is a hardy plant and can tolerate cold temperatures, drought and frost. The plant is also cultivated as an ornamental for its attractive foliage, flowers and fall color.


Sorbaria sorbifolia, commonly known as sorbaria, is a deciduous shrub native to East Asia. It belongs to the Rosaceae family, which also includes well-known plants such as roses, apples, and strawberries. Sorbaria sorbifolia is popular in gardens for its attractive foliage, showy flowers, and hardiness.

Appearance and Cultivation

Sorbaria sorbifolia is a fast-growing shrub that can reach a height of 6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters) and a spread of 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters). It has arching branches and pinnately compound leaves that resemble those of a rowan or a sumac tree. The leaves are green in color, and in the fall, they turn a beautiful shade of red or orange. Sorbaria sorbifolia also produces attractive white or pink flowers in the summer, which are arranged in large, dense panicles.

Sorbaria sorbifolia is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sand. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade to full sun. Sorbaria is a good choice for areas that experience harsh winters, as it is tolerant of cold temperatures down to -30°F (-34°C). It is also relatively pest and disease-resistant, making it a low-maintenance plant.


Sorbaria sorbifolia is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden settings. Its showy flowers and attractive foliage make it a great choice for use in borders, hedges, or as a specimen plant. It can also be used to add interest to a woodland or wildflower garden. Sorbaria sorbifolia is also an excellent plant for erosion control, as its extensive root system helps stabilize soil on steep slopes.


Sorbaria sorbifolia can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division. Seeds should be sown in the fall or stratified for three months before planting in the spring. Cuttings can be taken in the summer, and division can be done in the spring or fall. When transplanting, make sure to plant in a location that provides the plant with the appropriate amount of sun and well-drained soil.

Sorbaria sorbifolia is a versatile and hardy shrub that adds beauty and interest to any garden setting. Its showy flowers, attractive foliage, and tolerance for a wide range of growing conditions make it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

More Information

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, Sorbaria sorbifolia also has practical uses. The plant contains tannins, which are used in the production of leather, dyes, and ink. The leaves and bark of the plant have also been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, such as fever and diarrhea.

Sorbaria sorbifolia has several cultivars, each with its own unique features. 'Sem' is a compact variety that reaches a height of only 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters) and has attractive pink flowers. 'Lemon Splash' is a variegated cultivar with yellow and green leaves. 'Perkeo' is a dwarf variety that reaches only 2 feet (0.6 meters) in height and has white flowers.

One thing to note about Sorbaria sorbifolia is that it can spread aggressively by underground runners. To prevent the plant from becoming invasive, it is recommended to plant it in a contained area or to regularly prune the roots to control its spread.

Sorbaria sorbifolia is an excellent addition to any garden, with its beautiful flowers, attractive foliage, and hardy nature. Whether used as a specimen plant or in a mass planting, Sorbaria is sure to impress and provide interest throughout the growing season.

Sorbaria sorbifolia is a popular plant among pollinators, especially bees and butterflies. Its attractive flowers provide nectar and pollen, making it a great choice for gardeners looking to attract pollinators to their garden. Additionally, the plant is deer-resistant, which is an added bonus for gardeners who struggle with deer damage.

In terms of maintenance, Sorbaria sorbifolia requires minimal care. The plant is relatively drought-tolerant once established, but it does prefer regular watering during dry spells. Pruning can be done in the early spring to control the size and shape of the plant. Removing older stems can also encourage new growth and better flowering.

Sorbaria sorbifolia can also be used in floral arrangements. The long panicles of flowers are great for adding height and texture to bouquets. The leaves can also be used to create a backdrop for other flowers in an arrangement.

In conclusion, Sorbaria sorbifolia is a beautiful and versatile plant that adds interest to any garden. Its attractive foliage, showy flowers, and hardy nature make it a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. With proper care, this plant can provide interest and beauty for many years to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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