Itea virginica – Virginia Sweetspire – Sweetspire –


Itea –

There are about 10 species of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and small trees, not widely cultivated, in this genus. They occur from woodlands and swamps in Eastern Asia, with species occurring in Eastern North America.   Grown for their holly like leaves, attractive autumn colors, and small, fragrant white, cream, or green-white flowers, the leaves are toothed and arranged alternately. Flowers are borne in axillary or terminal, catkin like, many flowered racemes or panicles in fall. Grow evergreen species in sheltered spot in a shrub border. Grow in a shrub or mixed border.

Grow evergreen species in fertile, moist but well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Grow I. virginica in moist, slightly acidic soil in partial shade to full. They dislike dry soils.

I. virginica – Virginia Sweetspire – Sweetspire – This upright then arching, deciduous shrub from Eastern North America grows 5-10′ feet tall and 5′ feet wide. It produces narrowly elliptic to oblong, finely toothed, dark green leaves, to 4″ long, turning red to purple in fall. In summer it bears honey scented, creamy white flowers, 3/8″ across, held in dense, semi erect, racemes, to 6″ long.

Zones 6-9