Ural False Spiraea ‘Sem’



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:





36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 °C (-50 °F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 °C (-45 °F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown – Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown – Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Belleville, Illinois

Frankfort, Illinois

Portland, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

South Jordan, Utah

Gig Harbor, Washington

Lake Forest Park, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

show all


Size & form

An erect, colony-forming, multi-stemmed shrub reaching 5 to 10 feet high and wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun, tolerant of light shade in moist, well-drained, organic-rich soil
Becomes stunted in dry soil
Suckering shrub, spreads profusely forming large colonies
Flowers on new wood, prune in spring before new growth begins
Deer resistant

Disease, pests, and problems

None serious

Native geographic location and habitat

Siberia, Manchuria, China, Korea and Japan

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Flowers attract butterflies and pollinators

Bark color and texture

Young stems are pink to green and slightly pubescent. Older stems are gray-brown and smooth

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, pinnately compound up to 12 inches long, with 12 to 25 leaflets, each 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Margins are double serrated and pointed.
Foliage similar to Mountain ash (Sorbus). One of first shrubs to leaf out in spring.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Showy clusters of tiny white flowers in dense, cone-shaped panicles, 4 to 10 inches long.
Flowers on terminal ends of new wood in June

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Dehiscent fruit capsule

Cultivars and their differences

Sem False-Spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’): A dense, rounded, compact shrub reaching 3 to 4 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide, new leaves coppery-pink when emerging.

Sobaria Shrub Care: Learn How To Grow False Spirea

Sorbaria false spirea is a sprawling deciduous shrub (Sorbaria sorbifolia) that bears frothy white flowers in panicles at the end of its shoots. It will cover your slopes or fields with deep green foliage in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 8. Read on for information about how to grow false spirea and Sorbaria shrub care.

Sorbaria False Spirea

If you plant Sorbaria false spirea, don’t expect a prim and proper shrub that knows its place. The charm of false spirea is entirely different. Those who choose to grow Sorbaria shrubs must be ready for the plants’ unruly nature.

These shrubs offer masses of overarching branches, with dark green, pinnate leaves. They also supply billowy sprays of summer flowers.

Native to Eastern Siberia, China, Korea and Japan, false spirea shrubs grow to 10 feet high and wide, and keep spreading. Sorbaria false spirea grow suckers that turn into new plants. Because of this, your false spirea is likely to spread out and take over unassigned space if you let it.

Is Sorbaria sorbifolia invasive? Yes it is. These woody plants have escaped cultivation and moved out into undeveloped areas in the Northeast and Alaska.

How to Grow False Spirea

One reason gardeners grow Sorbaria shrubs is because it is so easy to do so. The plants are not picky about almost anything. If you want to know how to grow false spirea, you can either plant seeds or take cuttings. The plants require little special care, and will grow in almost any type of soil as long as it drains well.

Sobaria false spirea plants grows very fast in full sun. However, they also thrive in sites with some shade. And you aren’t likely to see these tough bushes threatened by insect pests or disease problems.

Perhaps the most important part of Sorbaria shrub care is keeping some control over your garden once you invite false spirea in. The plants will spread fast by suckers, and even faster in loose soil, so make time to pull up suckers as they appear.

You should prune this shrub every winter as part of Sorbaria shrub care. In fact, consider cutting it back to ground level every year in order to stop it from getting too dominant.

Sem False Spirea foliage

Sem False Spirea foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Sem False Spirea

Sem False Spirea

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Sem False Spirea foliage

Sem False Spirea foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 3 feet

Spread: 4 feet


Hardiness Zone: 3a

Other Names: Ural False Spirea,


An exciting new development for gardeners and very different from the species; the foliage of this compact rounded shrub emerges with rich shades of pink and red fading to a cheery chartreuse with rich autumn tones; showy white plumes of flowers in summer

Ornamental Features

Sem False Spirea features airy plumes of white flowers rising above the foliage from early to mid summer. It has attractive chartreuse foliage which emerges cherry red in spring. The pinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding coppery-bronze in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The rose stems are very effective and add winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Sem False Spirea is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Sem False Spirea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Sem False Spirea will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn’t necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Sem False Spirea makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a ‘thriller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag – this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

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