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Dwarf Fothergilla Fothergilla 'Mount Airy'

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Dwarf Fothergilla:

Previously known as:

  • Fothergilla gardenii 'Mount Airy'
  • Fothergilla gardenii x major 'Mount Airy.'
  • Fothergilla major 'Mount Airy.'
  • Fothergilla x intermedia 'Mount Airy'
Phonetic Spelling
foth-er-GIL-lah
Description

'Mount Airy' fothergilla is a showy deciduous dwarf shrub cultivar in the Hamamelidaceae family.  It is thought to be a cross between the native Fothergilla's  F. gardenii and F. latifolia.  The genus name comes from the English botanist and physician Dr. John Fothergill (1712-1780) and the cultivar name 'Mount Airy' is the namesake of Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio where the cultivar was discovered by Michael Dirr.

Plant in acidic soils with high organic matter that are consistently moist but with good drainage. The best flowering occurs in full sun but it tolerates part shade conditions. With beautiful leathery green foliage, interesting bottle-brush flowers in the spring, and great red, yellow, or purple fall color this compact shrub brings long lasting seasonal interest to the landscape. Growing slowly 3 to 6 feet tall and about as wide, this multi-stemmed shrub has a rounded compact habit.

'Mount Airy' fothergilla spreads by suckers, which can be removed if this is not desirable. The fragrant flowers appear before blue-green leaves in spring and last 10-14 days. Leaves are bright yellow to orange to red to purple in fall, colors often combined on the same leaf. 

This plant is resistant to browsing by deer. Use as a specimen in a cottage garden, in shaded shrub borders, as a low hedge, or in a sensory garden to take advantage of the sweet smelling flowers.  This easy to grow shrub works well in mass plantings, along foundations, and can be planted with other acid-loving plants like rhododendrons and blueberries.  

Quick ID Hints:

  • Bottle brush-shaped honey scented white flowers.
  • Yellow-orange-red fall color.
  • Rounded teeth on the leaf margin toward the apex.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems. 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Foundation Planting- West Side of House Mountain Ridge Top Garden - North Lawn and Upper Drive Border Mountain Ridge Top Garden - East Lawn and Lower Drive Border Mountain Ridge Top Garden - North Lawn and Upper Drive Border Mountain Ridge Top Garden - East Lawn and Lower Drive Border Mountain Ridge Top Garden - North Lawn and Upper Drive Border
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#specimen#easy to grow#slow growing#deciduous shrub#shade garden#low maintenance#spring flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#mass planting#year-round interest#hedges#deer resistant#blue-green leaves#acidic soils tolerant#fantz#leathery leaves#suckers#flowers late spring#sensory garden#fall color yellow#compact habit#fall color red#fall color purple#shrub borders#low hedge#flowers mid-spring
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#specimen#easy to grow#slow growing#deciduous shrub#shade garden#low maintenance#spring flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#mass planting#year-round interest#hedges#deer resistant#blue-green leaves#acidic soils tolerant#fantz#leathery leaves#suckers#flowers late spring#sensory garden#fall color yellow#compact habit#fall color red#fall color purple#shrub borders#low hedge#flowers mid-spring
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Fothergilla
    Family:
    Hamamelidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Terminal bottle brush white flowers have a honey fragrance appear April-May. They are globular at first, then elongate like bottle brushes up to 3 inches as they mature. The flowers have no petals but are white showy stamens with a yellowish anther.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, 2-4 inch long leathery leaves are obovate to oblong with rounded teeth toward the apex. Color is dark green above to blue or gray green tomentose undersides. Showy fall colors in reds, yellows and purples.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Dark brown stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer