Featured Plant: Itea virginica, Virginia Sweet Spire
Fall is a spectacular time for native perennials! Itea virginica, Virginia Sweet Spire, has showy cat-kin like spire white flowers in the late spring months that make way for glossy green leaves that turn vibrant red and orange in the fall. The flowers are produced on last year’s growth or old wood and depending on the cultivar the flowers may be upright or cascading. “Little Henry” is a popular cultivar of this plant. The shrub is deciduous with an attractive arching form. It can handle a variety of soil conditions and planting sites including low and wet sites. Not only is this plant native, it’s deer resistant, a source of nectar for pollinators, drought tolerant, and produces an attractive display for three fourths of the year. This mid-sized shrub grows 3-5 feet tall and has a spreading growth habit in an urban landscape setting. In a more natural setting with shade it can grow taller.
By: Lauren Hill, Horticulture Agent Cabarrus County