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Sorbaria sorbifolia Sem


False goat's beard

Colour changing fern-like leaves

A striking shrub forming a thicket of upright, tan-coloured stems up to 1.5m (5ft) tall but usually smaller. The fern like leaves are bright yellow-green flushed apricot-pink in spring, often quite red at the tips of the shoots. As summer progresses they become more subdued yellow green before turning red in autumn. Short, fat spikes of whitish flowers appear in summer.


plant in full sun or semi-shade in beds and borders. Good for naturalistic schemes, also effective in a large pot.


Any reasonably fertile soil. Tolerant of wet conditions and good on heavy clay. Prune in winter to control size and spread.

The common name, false goat's beard, comes from the fluffy triangular form of the flower spikes

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Summer
Flowering July - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 100 cm - 150 cm
Plant width 100 cm - 150 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous No
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H5

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds, City garden

Typically available

From April to September