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Sorbaria sorbifolia - false spiraea

Sorbaria sorbifolia ©Susanna

False spiraea is the oldest and most common of the Sorbaria genus grown in Finland. Growing to 1,5m, it requires little attention and grows happily almost anywhere, fulfilling a useful role as a background or fill-in shrub which can be severely cut back, when necessary to ground level. It spreads through underground rhizomes and suckers. Root cuttings thrown on rubbish heaps can develop into dense growths which are difficult to eradicate.

The leaves of false spiraea are among the first to open in spring, with slim opposite leaflets similar to those of mountain ash (Sorbus). Attractive white flowers appear around the middle of summer, turning yellowish in autumn. After leaf fall clusters of ripe brown seeds continue to decorate the stems.

The species grows naturally in Asia from the Urals eastwards to Japan. In Finland it grows happily right up into Lapland.