Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet')

Common names:
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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
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
Deciduous
Other: 1 to 4 inches long
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Flood Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Root suckering
Pollinators: Wasps
Moths and Butterflies
Bumblebees
Bees
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious

photo courtesy of Sunlight Gardens, www.sunlightgardens.com

Photo gallery:
Location: Tennesseephoto courtesy of Sunlight Gardens, www.sunlightgardens.com
By SongofJoy
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Location: ILDate: 2014-06-18
By molanic
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Location: IDEA Garden, Tyler, TexasDate: 2014-05-03
By dave
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Location: ILDate: 2010-10-29
By molanic
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Courtesy American Daylily and Perennials
By vic
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Location: Nursery.Date: 2011-0623
By pirl
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-06-16full-grown specimen in bloom in yard
By ILPARW
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-06-16another shot of full-grown specimen
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-06-06long, hanging flower clusters
By ILPARW
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-10-26red fall color on mature specimen
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-10-11red fall color of foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: western Chester County, PADate: 2014-09-23starting red fall color of large plants in foundation
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by molanic (IL - Zone 5b) on Feb 6, 2017 10:22 AM

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.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jul 14, 2018 1:26 PM

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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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Planting Henry's Garnet Itea in Maryland by sashaapalmer Mar 1, 2017 3:26 PM 2
Hog Peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata) by Shadegardener Aug 15, 2015 5:11 PM 5
Favourites just for the scent alone. by Handed Jan 18, 2020 9:50 PM 259

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