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

Virginia sweetspire is an erect, rounded, deciduous shrub which typically grows 3-5' tall in cultivation (to 10' in the wild). A Missouri native plant that occurs in swamps, low wet woods and along spring branches in Southeastern Missouri south of Cape Girardeau. Features fragrant, tiny white flowers borne in cylindrical, drooping racemes (2-5" long) which cover the shrub with bloom in early summer. Oval, dark green leaves (1-4" long) turn an attractive red in autumn, sometimes persisting on the shrub until December.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Versatile shrub for sunny or shady areas of the shrub border, native plant garden or woodland garden. Naturalizes well in wild plant gardens. Good for wet locations such as low spots or on the edges of streams or ponds.