Itea virginica

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 3 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Virginia sweetspire
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Iteaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Erosion, Clay Soil, Wet Soil


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Adaptable to shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Can form dense colonies by root suckering if left unchecked.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Itea virginica, commonly called Virginia sweetspire, is an erect, rounded, broad-spreading, deciduous shrub with arching branches. Typically grows 3-4' (less frequently to 5') tall with a similar spread. Features fragrant, tiny white flowers borne in cylindrical, drooping racemes (3-6" long) which cover the shrub with bloom in late spring to early summer. Oval, dark green leaves (1-4" long) turn varying shades of red, orange and gold in autumn. Long period of fall color, with leaves often persisting on the plants until early winter.

Genus name comes from the Greek word for willow in reference to the similarity of the leaves or flower clusters to those of some willows.

Specific epithet means of Virginia.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

A versatile shrub for sun and shade. Specimen, group or mass. Shrub borders, open woodland gardens, foundations or hedges. Mass for a shrubby ground cover effect. Naturalizes well in wild or informal areas. Also a good selection for wet locations such as low spots or pond/stream margins.