These good-size shrubs bloom from mid- to late summer, producing big, plumelike clusters of tiny white or creamy flowers at branch ends. Flowers mature into brown seed clusters, so cut off faded blossoms unless you like the look of brown plumes. Green, ferny-looking leaves are finely divided into many narrow, toothed leaflets. Use in large shrub borders or at edge of woodland, near water; effect is almost tropical. Spread by suckering and will cover large areas if not curbed.
S. sorbifolia. URAL FALSE SPIREA. Native to eastern Asia. To 38 ft. tall, 10 ft. wide. Leaves 612 in. long; flower plumes to 1 ft. long. 'Sem' is compact, at 34 ft. tall and wide, with foliage that emerges bright pinkish red in spring, fading through chartreuse shades to green in summer and coppery bronze in autumn.
S. tomentosa angustifolia (S. aitchisonii). KASHMIR FALSE SPIREA. Native to Afghanistan, Pakistan. To 10 ft. tall and wide. Leaves to 112 ft. long; flower plumes to 16 in. long.