Itea - Itea virginica
$ 12.00 USD was

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Common names:  Itea, Virginia Sweetspire, Virginia Sweet Spire, Virginia Willow

Virginia Sweetspire is a native deciduous to a semi-evergreen shrub that is found in the southeast USA on streambanks and wet pine barrens.  It can grow up to 8 feet tall and has graceful arching branches. In early summer, small, fragrant, white flowers occur in terminal arching racemes. Fall color is red to purple and last well into winter.

Virginia Sweetspire prefers moist, rich, slightly acidic humusy soils in partial sun to partial shade, 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. 

The species is rarely sold and the cultivar 'Henry's Garnet' is what is easiest to find for sale. 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.