Tag Archives: Virginia Sweetspires

You Can Grow That: Little Henry Sweetspire

My Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’ has fantastic fall color, not the flaming red you read about but beach sunset glow, muskmelon peach/orange, and autumn persimmon. When I bought Little Henry it was only a foot high. In 9 years, it has matured to a small woody shrub, 3 feet high and wide. In early summer, it blooms small white flowers on thin, 4-inch long, racemes, similar in shape to a bottle brush. The flowers mature into small, tan seed pods that remain on the shrub well into winter, after the leaves drop. The branches can be cut and placed in a vase either for the summer flowers, the fall foliage, or the striking seed pods.September2014andfieldwildflowers 010

Little Henry is a cultivar of Itea virginica, a shrub native to the eastern United States. Although it can tolerate sunnier and dryer conditions once established it seems to thrive in the morning sun/ afternoon shade combination in my garden where it sits in a moist, heavily mulched area. I have seen other Virginia sweetspires in full sun and dryer conditions. I also have seen the species spread by suckering but mine has not does not move. Hardy to zone 5, Little Henry does not seem to have any pest or disease problems and provides year round interest. Read about other “You can grow that” articles written and posted by garden bloggers on the fourth of every month.September2014andfieldwildflowers 021September2014andfieldwildflowers 009