- Common Name(s):
- Itea, Virginia sweet spire, Virginia sweetspire, Virginia willow
- 'Henry's Garnet' , 'Little Henry', 'Sarah Eve', 'Saturnalia'
- Native Plants, Shrubs
Itea virginica, commonly called Virginia sweetspire, is an erect, rounded, broad-spreading, deciduous shrub with arching branches. It typically grows 3-4' (less frequently to 5') tall with a similar spread. It has mahogany to orange-red fall foliage and arching branches. It may spread by runners and can become invasive. It is a drought tolerant shrub that is native to damp areas of the southeastern US, so it is perfect for planting in low or wet sites in your landscape.
Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains
Seasons of Interest:
Foliage: Fall, orange red Flowers: Summer, fragrant Fruit: Fall, seeds
Wildlife Value: This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer. Flowers attract butterflies and other insects. Seeds eaten by songbirds.
Play Value: Wildlife Enhancement
Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Avoid over-fertilization.
- 3-6 ft.
- Oval, alternate, simple dark green leaves (1-4" long) turn varying shades of red, orange and gold in autumn on the Virginia willow. It has a long period of fall colors, including mahogany, yellow, orange and reddish colors, with leaves often persisting on the plants until early winter.
- The Virginia willow features fragrant, tiny white flowers borne in cylindrical, drooping racemes (3-6" long) that cover the shrub with bloom in late spring to early summer. The flowers open from base to tip, are lightly fragrant and are borne on previous season's growth.
- Deciduous shrub
- The Virginia willow is easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It is adaptable to shade. It prefers moist, humusy soils, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Can form dense colonies by root suckering if left unchecked.
- Erect shrub with clustered branches; rounded arching habit in sun; colony-forming
- Sun to partial shade; dry to moist to wet soil
- Woody Capsule
- 4-6 ft.
NCCES plant id: 496