ShadyGardens Blog

May 15, 2008

Itea Virginica Belongs In Every Garden!

One native plant sure to attract attention in your garden is Itea Virginica, most often known as Virginia Sweetspire.
Many gardeners are completely unaware of its beauty, because Virginia Sweetspire is seldom sold in garden centers. Other than its love for moist soil, Itea is very easy to grow. If you have a way of watering your garden or have a soggy spot, you can enjoy the many attributes of Itea Virginica year-round. Yes, year-round! Itea Virginica begins the spring season with red new growth, blooms in May with very fragrant 3-inch long white bloom spikes that really attract pollinators into the garden and maintains lush green foliage throughout the summer. Leaves, which are on burgundy stems, by the way, then turn a vibrant burgundy red in fall. As if all that weren’t enough, Itea often keeps that spectacular fall foliage all winter (at least it does here in central Georgia.) I know it’s hard to believe that such a glorious plant could be a native, but Itea virginica is native to the Eastern United States. If you have a large garden, Itea is beautiful when massed, especially along the edge of a pond if you’re lucky enough to have one. If your garden is small, Itea makes a great specimen or border planting. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9, Itea can be grown in almost any area of the country. Whether you choose the large growing Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’ or the compact dwarf ‘Merlot’, you should plant one in your garden to enjoy all season long! To purchase Itea, you’re welcome to visit

November 11, 2007

Plant of the Week November 4, 2007

Filed under: garnet, henry's, Itea, merlot, native, native plant, shrub, Spire, Sweet, Sweetspire, Virginia, virginica — shadygardens @ 7:03 pm

Itea Virginica is an American Native Plant that is spectacular in all seasons! Spring brings fragrant blooms that attract pollinators, summer produces lovely leaf and stem texture with some burgundy red colorations, and fall sets the plant on fire with brilliant red to burgundy foliage that can be seen from great distances. In winter, Itea is evergreen in most climates, but if it does lose most of its leaves, the burgundy stems are very attractive as well. Itea is available in both larger growing and dwarf varieties, so it can fit in any garden! ‘Merlot’ is a very nice compact form, while ‘Henry’s Garnet’ is great if you have the space for a larger growing shrub. Whichever you choose, you’ll be adding a spectacular feature to your garden with Itea Virginica. For more information on this plant, go to

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