READY SPRING 2019. Virginia sweetspire is the common name for Itea Virginica, a lovely arching shrub which produces dangling trusses of sweetly scented white flowers in early summer. The garnet bit refers to the stunning flush of colour the leaves take on in the autumn, and for quite some time. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. To 4 ft. 2 litre pot.
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Itea are native to eastern parts of Asia and North America and are typified by their dangling catkin-like tassels of flowers. The species Itea Virginica is, as the name suggests, of North American origin, where its habitat includes woodland and swampy ground. Hint - don't plant it where the soil is likely to dry out too much in summer.
The genus name Itea is from the Greek, meaning willow, and you can see why the comparison is made, given the look and habit of this shrub. The advantages that Henry's Garnet boasts over the species are larger flowers and more intense autumn colouring of the foliage. So that's all good then.
Care is minimal: prune as necessary after flowering.
Itea Virginica Henry’s Garnet is a hardy compact shrub with dangling trusses of scented white flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.
Photo by Elsa Spezio (Flickr).