Virginia Sweetspire

Itea virginica

Virginia Sweetspire, scientifically known as Itea virginica, is a charming deciduous shrub native to North America. With its fragrant, cascading white flowers and vibrant fall foliage, it adds a touch of elegance to any landscape. It thrives in moist to wet soils, making it an excellent choice for rain gardens, pond edges, and stream banks. It can also be found on the edges of wooded areas.

Flowers: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Origin: This shrub is native to the eastern United States, from New York to Florida and westward to Texas.
Family: Saxifragaceae
Size: Typically grows to a height of 3 to 10 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters), with a similar spread
Sun: Thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Watering: Consistent moisture is crucial, especially during the growing season. Mulching around the base of the plant can help retain moisture.
Growth Rate:
Soil: Acidic
Pruning: Prune selectively for shape and structure in late winter or early spring, when the plant is dormant.
Disease and Pests:
Uses: Virginia Sweetspire is a favorite among bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making it an excellent choice for wildlife-friendly gardens. Its extensive root system makes it effective in stabilizing soil along streambanks and other water bodies.
Notes: The cultivar ‘Henry’s Garnet’ is easier to find commercially and it has larger flowers and better fall colors.


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