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Virginian Willow Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'

Phonetic Spelling
eye-TEE-uh vir-JIN-ih-kuh
Description

'Henry's Garnet', or Virginia Sweetspire, is a cultivar of Itea virginica. It is an attractive, decidous to semi-evergreen shrub with showy fragrant flowers and good fall leaf color, showing the fall colors up to the beginning of winter. This plant can be used in many places in the garden including around a pond since it does not mind wet soil as long as the soil is well-drained. The parent species, I. virginica, is rarely sold commercially, but this cultivar 'Henry's Garnet' can be easier to find. In addition, 'Henry's Garnet' has larger flowers and better fall color than the parent species The genus name, Itea, comes from the Greek word meaning "willow", which is in reference to the similarity of the leaves or flower clusters to those of some willow plants.

'Henry's Garnet' prefers full sun to partial shade, but it can also grow in shade. It does well in moist, slightly acidic humusy soils, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and pHs. Best flowering occurs with 4 hours of sun per day. It can form dense colonies by root suckering and can be used for erosion control in wet areas or on wet banks. This plant blooms on previous season's wood, so pruning should be done after flowering.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

Avoid over-fertilization.  Resistant to Phytophthora root rot.

 

 

More information on Itea virginica.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Small Water Features Woodland Backyard Garden Walk
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#gold#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#full sun tolerant#rain garden#fragrant flowers#white flowers#shrub#orange leaves#red leaves#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#fall interest#erosion control#summer flowers#gold leaves#deer resistant#spring interest#flowers late spring#flowers early summer#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#gold#fragrant#showy flowers#deciduous#full sun tolerant#rain garden#fragrant flowers#white flowers#shrub#orange leaves#red leaves#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#fall interest#erosion control#summer flowers#gold leaves#deer resistant#spring interest#flowers late spring#flowers early summer#wet soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Itea
    Species:
    virginica
    Family:
    Iteaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. Seeds are eaten by songbirds.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Textural
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to erosion, wet soil, clay soil, heavy shade, many soil types, insect pests, diseases.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    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:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Woody capsules arranged in racemes, showy in the fall. Fruits are slim, pubescent, have tiny seeds, are 1/3" long, and are persistent into the following year. Displays from August to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers bloom in spring and summer (around May to June). Each raceme is about 3 to 6 inches. The flowers open from base to tip and are borne on previous season's growth.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are generally 1 to 4 inches long and turn varying shades of red, orange and gold in autumn often persisting on the plants until early winter. Leaves have an acute apex and cuneate base, have a finely serrated margin, are glabrous above and can be slightly pubescent below. Pubescent petiole up to 1/4" long with a groove on the upper side.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Scaly
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    C-shaped, Cresent shaped
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems have a medium thickness, are green to reddish-purple in color on sun side, are glabrous, and have crescent-shaped leaf scars. Buds are superposed, imbricate, and reddish-green on short branches.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
    Insect Pests
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy