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Fothergilla gardenii.jpg
Fothergilla gardenii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Fothergilla

Fothergilla gardenii
Fothergilla malloryi
Fothergilla major
Fothergilla monticola

Fothergilla (witch alder) is a genus of two or three species of flowering plants in the family Hamamelidaceae, native to woodland and swamps of the southeastern United States.

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.[1]

Flowers of F. major

The genus was named in honor of the English physician and plant collector John Fothergill (1712-1780).

Cultivation and uses[edit]

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.


  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ 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

External links[edit]