They are low-growing deciduous shrubs growing to 1–3 m (3–10 ft) tall with downy twigs. The brush-like flowers are produced before the leaves in spring on terminal spikes; they do not have any petals, but a conspicuous cluster of white stamens 2–3 cm long. The leaves are alternate, broad ovoid, 4–10 cm long and 3–8 cm broad, with a coarsely toothed margin; they are noted for their brilliant orange or red fall colors.
- Fothergilla gardenii dwarf witch alder
- †Fothergilla malloryi (Extinct, Ypresian, Klondike Mountain Formation)
- Fothergilla major large witch alder
- Fothergilla monticola Alabama witch alder; commonly included in F. major
The genus was named in honor of the English physician and plant collector John Fothergill (1712-1780).
Cultivation and uses
Fothergillas are grown as ornamental plants for their spring flowers and fall foliage color. They are slow-growing, rarely exceeding 1–2 m tall in cultivation.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- Meghan G. Radtke; Kathleen B. Pigg; Wesley C. Wehr (2005), "Fossil Corylopsis and Fothergilla Leaves (Hamamelidaceae) from the Lower Eocene Flora of Republic, Washington, U.S.A., and Their Evolutionary and Biogeographic Significance", International Journal of Plant Sciences, 166 (2): 347, doi:10.1086/427483
- Jianhua Li and Peter Del Tredici (2008), "The Chinese Parrotia: A Sibling Species of the Persian Parrotia" (PDF), Arnoldia, 66 (1): 5, ISSN 0004-2633
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