General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 5-6 feet
Plant Spread: 5-6 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Other: 1 to 4 inches long
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Flood Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Root suckering
Pollinators: Wasps
Moths and Butterflies
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Virginia Sweetspire
  • Gooseberry
  • Itea

  • Posted by molanic (IL - Zone 5b) on Feb 6, 2017 10:22 AM concerning plant:
    Mine has still not gotten over two feet tall after many years. I have read it may have a preference for very moist but well drained acidic soil and mine is more alkaline with a clay base. Perhaps that stunts the growth a bit. I used to have it in a fairly dry area, but have moved it to the edge of a rain garden in full sun which made it fill out a little more. It also regularly has some die-back after winter that I prune off, but I am in zone 5... which is the coldest it can handle apparently.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jul 14, 2018 1:26 PM concerning plant:
    This is the most commonly sold cultivar of the species, and it is available at many conventional nurseries in the East & Midwest of the US. It was selected at Swarthmore College not far west of Philadelphia, PA. It was chosen for its excellent red fall color and longer flower raceme clusters than what the mother species usually does. It likes moist or draining wet acid soil best and the pH can go up to about 7.0.

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