Itea virginica

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Virginia sweetspire
Itea virginica flowers 001.JPG
Flowering branch
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Iteaceae
Genus: Itea
Species: I. virginica
Binomial name
Itea virginica

Itea virginica, the Virginia sweetspire or Virginia willow, is a species of flowering plant in the family Iteaceae (formerly Saxifragaceae), native to the southern United States and particularly associated with Virginia.[1]


Itea virginica is a deciduous shrub growing to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) tall and 1.5 m (4.9 ft) broad, with alternate, simple leaves on arching stems. The flowers are white or cream, borne in downward pointing slightly curved spikes, in summer. It is a multistemmed, suckering and colonizing plant, with the stems branching infrequently except at the tops. In favourable conditions it may become semi-evergreen. The leaves turn shades of red in fall (autumn). It is hardy down to at least −15 °C (5 °F).[2]

In cultivation in the UK the cultivar ‘Henry’s Garnet’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Itea virginica". UCONN (University of Connecticut) Plant Database. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  2. ^ Brickell, Christopher, ed. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 582. ISBN 9781405332965. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'". Retrieved 13 March 2018. 
  4. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 56. Retrieved 14 March 2018.