1. ‘Sem’ False Spirea
Name: Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’
USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 8
Size: 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide
Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; tolerates a wide range of soils, moist to dry
‘Sem’ is a Dutch-born hybrid of two unnamed selections of false spirea, an otherwise sleeper shrub that seldom appears on most gardeners’ radars. This modern cultivar boasts salon-quality bronze and copper highlights as it unfurls its feathery fine leaves in early spring, growing into a stunning colony over time. As a hedge, it’s a shiner, but it’s just as effective weaving among perennials and other shrubs with combs of white flowers appearing in midsummer. Overall, false spirea is undownable, thriving in a variety of soils and weathering winters as cold as Zone 2.
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