Saturday, April 04, 2020

What’s Coming Up In The Garden, 18: Virginia sweetspire

I needed something for the corner of Poplar Folly that could grow tall enough to be a screen, has pretty flowers, is native and a pollinator, and if possible offered some color. Virginia sweetspire hit the spot. The long willowy flowers are pretty and loved by bees, it can grow to 8 feet, and in the fall its leaves turn a deep burgundy red. Perfect!

Ours are young still, but have at least doubled in size since planted, and we’ve enjoyed the flowers and the fall color already. They’re doing well in the spot we put them.

There are two in this corner and my hope is that as they grow they’ll fill it in. 

More info:

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy 

Itea virginica

Itea virginica L.

Virginia Sweetspire, Tassel-white, Virginia Willow

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Virginia sweetspire is a mound-shaped, slender-branched, deciduous shrub to 8 ft. Small, white flowers bloom in 4 in. spires that droop with the arching branches. Flowers open from base to tip so that the plant appears to bloom for a long time. Leaves turn red to purple in fall and persist well into the winter. This plant is semi-evergreen in the southern part of its range. 
The long tassels of white flowers and red fall foliage make this an attractive ornamental. Most effective in massed plantings, as single plants tend to be scraggly. 

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