Shrub Identification?

farmboy1(5)April 19, 2012

Supposedly this is some type of Spirea, with white flowers similar to Butterfly Bush. It suckers easily.

Any ideas?



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Not a spirea at's a false spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 7:48AM
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Thanks! I was given the opportunity to take several shoots from one in a yard nearby. I was curious as it didn't seem like a spirea, especially with all the suckering I saw that reminded me of the late tree of heaven I took down.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Spireas never have pinnate (fernlike) leaves, with leaflets arranged along a central stalk.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:46PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

They're both Rosaceae, though. Just on a walk last night at a botanical garden and we compared botanical features of Sorbaria with a species rose from China.

Farmboy I love the Sorbaria for its new foliage in spring and its flowers. The foliage generally is also quite nice. The suckering is a pain in the neck - it will take over if you are not careful. I deal with it by not providing summer water outside the area that I want it to occupy, but you can't do that where you are as you have summer rain. (there is also a variety whose name escapes me that has more colorful new foliage and I think is smaller).

Here are a couple of shots of mine just as it is coming into bloom a few years ago. Note how in the second photo it is encroaching on the Cotinus obovatus to its left. That Cotinus is bigger now and can fend for itself, but the Sorbaria eventually took over the Lonicera in front of it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Thanks for the great pictures! It is pretty and unusual. I'm hoping the suckers I have will take root pretty easily, they were pretty wilted when I planted them. I'll see how the suckering goes if/when it gets larger.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:34AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

It suckers easily

==>>be verwy verwy caarfwul with anything that does the above ... [homage to elmer phud]

one day.. one year.. you will rue the day you invited it into your garden ... depending on garden size ...

its a 'run it over with the truck' .. nay the steamroller plant.. if you figure out how to kill it.. let us know.. lol ..


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:46AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Vince - Do keep on top of it if it takes hold. As Ken points out, suckering plants can turn nightmarish if they take over. I have seen gorgeous stands of this at Quarryhill (a local botanical garden dedicated to preserving endangered Asian species) where it grows in large clumps and there is the room for it to do as it wishes. I will say that when my garden has been part of tours in June it is the single most asked about plant (despite all of my specimen conifers, maples, etc.) It's 'star quality' when in bloom is the reason that I put up with it. Who knows, though - one day I may ask my husband to bring his backhoe over and yank it out! (Ken that's as close as I can get to a steamroller!)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:51AM
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I was initially leery of bringing this home and planting it as I still remember how the Tree of Heaven that was in the front yard was when I bought the house. Cut down multiple branches, chopped up and dug out the main root section, pulled out many roots that lead to suckers...gone now.

I wanted to get more info before it went into the ground, so the shoots spent a couple nights in a plastic bag. It has been given the "star" position in the front corner of my front yard on the corner, where I took out a large dogwood that didn't take well and got moved to the backyard. Plenty of room to expand.

Thanks for the cautions and comments about how nice it does look. Hopefully this will turn out well and be a good fit for the location.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:03AM
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