Plant of the Month for August, 2016

 (eye-TEE-uh  vir-JIN-ih-kuh)

General Information:

Itea virginica ‘Sprich’, aka 'Little Henry', is a small shrub that offers several seasons of interest. Adding it to a rock garden of larger plants would be a perfect place for it. Alternatively it can make a nice addition to the front of a perennial bed. Since it can take quite heavy shade it works well in a shade garden, next to your favourite hosta. It will look its best with at least 6 hours of sun.

Itea virginica Little Henry:photo by Robert Pavlis

Itea virginica Little Henry:photo by Robert Pavlis

It blooms in early summer, on old wood, on a unique flower scape that are extremely fragrant. It then has nice, shiny, light green leaves for the rest of the summer, until it’s leaves turns vibrant burgundy red in fall.

Itea virginica goes by the common name of Virginia sweetspire which seems quite descriptive of its long flower scape and fragrance. It is also known as the Virginia willow. Little Henry is the trademarked name for this miniature version of the species. It prefers wet conditions, but will adapt to dry gardens. It does sucker a small amount but it is both deer and disease resistant.

Itea virginica Little Henry:photo by Robert Pavlis

Itea virginica Little Henry:photo by Robert Pavlis

 

Life Cycle: shrub

Height: 60cm (2 ft)

Bloom Time: early summer

Natural Range: New Jersey to eastern Texas, south to South Carolina, for the species

Habitat: wet, wooded stream banks; swamps; low pine barrens

Synonyms:  none

 

Cultivation:

Light: full sun to shade

Soil: humusy soil

Water: wet preferred but will grow dry

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 9

Propagation: division and cuttings

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): never

 

      

3

Requires light or the small seeds should be surface sown. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgkXUSI1GWo&index=1&list=UUJfYCNSWCIuOB2...

A

Sow @ 20°C. Seed germinates within 3 months.
'Little Henry' is a dwarf selection. Seedlings will not necessarily retain dwarf characteristic.
Robert Pavlis