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Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet' Plant of Merit

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Kemper Code:  D590

Common Name: Virginia sweetspire
Zone: 5 to 9
Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Iteaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Spread: 4 to 6 feet
Bloom Time: May - June   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Adaptable to shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Can spread to form colonies by root suckering if left unchecked.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

This Virginia sweetspire cultivar is an erect, rounded, deciduous shrub which typically grows 3-4' tall. Features fragrant, tiny white flowers borne in cylindrical, drooping racemes (3-6" long) which cover the shrub with bloom in early summer. Oval, dark green leaves (1-4" long) turn an attractive garnet red in autumn, sometimes persisting on the shrub until December. Flowers (racemes larger) and fall color of this cultivar are superior to that of the species.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Versatile shrub for sunny or shady areas of the shrub border or woodland garden. Also a good specimen or foundation plant. Naturalizes well in wild locations. Good for wet locations such as low spots or on the edges of streams or ponds.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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