Tropical foliage, decadent plumes of bloom and minimal maintenance, are the priority attributes of false spirea, or Sorbaria sorbifolia. My favourite aspect of this deciduous shrub is when the beaded clusters of pearly buds are just beginning to burst into billowy, frothy, beauteous sprays of bloom. The arching, red tone branches carry soft, fluttering fronds in luscious green. The fluffy blooms will brown and dry into seed heads that I leave over the winter, then cut back in spring. This sprawling shrub is best suited where it has room to grow as its suckering habit can be invasive. You can cut this shrub right back to the ground in the spring if you’re looking for a fresh beginning (and this will diminish the suckering). False spirea is a remarkably durable and tolerant shrub considering its exotic features that provide interest in every season.
Technical stuff – False spirea/Sorbaria sorbifolia, hardy deciduous shrub to zone 3, height and spread of 5’-8’, fall sun to part shade, adaptable to soil, blooms in summer.