Alphabetical Plant Listing

Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire)

Virginia Sweetspire, Tassel-white, Virginia Willow


Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire) is an upright, rounded, deciduous shrub with arching branches boasting bottlebrush spikes, 4-6 in. long (10-15 cm), of lightly fragrant, creamy-white flowers in mid spring to early summer. The flowers are so profuse that they literally cover the shrub. They open from the bottom up for a long-lasting display. The blossoms attract butterflies and other pollinators. The foliage of oval, lustrous rich to dark green leaves, up to 4 in. long (10 cm), warms up to brilliant shades of oranges and reds in the fall, and persist well into the winter. Perfect for full sun or shade, Virginia Sweetspire rewards gardeners with three seasons of interest while requiring little care. Easy to grow, rarely bothered by pests or diseases, this is a great shrub for massing on large banks, in beds, perennial and shrub borders. Semi-evergreen in mild winter areas.

  • Grows up to 3-10 ft. tall and wide (90-300 cm). Strongly suckering, it will spread to form dense colonies.
  • A full sun, part shade or full shade lover, this plant is best grown in average, medium to wet, slightly acid, well-drained soils. Clay and wet soil tolerant. Best flower production and fall color in full sun.
  • A versatile shrub for shrub borders, open woodland gardens, foundations or hedges. Can be massed to create a pretty ground cover. Perfect for wet soils near ponds and streams, it grows in swamps and other areas of poor drainage. Good for erosion control.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer tend to avoid this plant.
  • Promptly remove root suckers unless naturalized look is desired
  • Prune immediately after flowering. Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings.
  • Native to the eastern United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 2B, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Spread 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams, Wall-Side Borders

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Puddain Tain (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 2B, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Spread 3' – 10' (90cm – 3m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Northeast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Hedges and Screens, Ponds and Streams, Wall-Side Borders

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