• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Sorbaria kirilowii

Kirilow false spiraea

Kirilow false spiraea

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names Kirilow false spiraea

  • Synonyms Sorbaria arborea
    Spiraea arborea

  • Family Rosaceae

  • Genus Sorbaria are large, deciduous suckering shrubs with attractive pinnate leaves and small, white, spiraea-like flowers borne in large terminal panicles in summer

  • Details S. kirilowii is a vigorous, thicket-forming shrub with leaves to 30cm in length, composed of lance-shaped, toothed leaflets and, in mid and late summer, bearing terminal panicles to 40cm in length of small white flowers

  • Plant range China, Tibet


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Suckering

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or East-facing or North-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered or Exposed


  • Chalk


  • Loam


  • Sand


  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Sand

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Best grown in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Useful for waterside plantings but neglected plants can rapidly form thickets when it would have the potential to become a nuisance

Propagation Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in mid-summer or propagate by seed sown in containers in a coldframe in autumn. Rooted suckers can be transplanted in winter or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 2 or pruning group 6; sucker removal in winter

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

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