Itea virginica 'SMNIVMM' FIZZY MIZZY

Common Name: Virginia sweetspire 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Iteaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Adaptable to shade, but fall color is best with more sun. Prefers moist, humusy, acidic soils, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Can form dense colonies by root suckering if left unchecked. Prune as needed after flowering.

'SMNIVMM' is a compact cultivar that should require minimal pruning to maintain its small stature.

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.

'SMNIVMM' is a compact selection of Virginia sweetspire that features a long-lasting display of upright to arching flowering racemes from late spring into summer. Mature plants will reach 2-3' tall with a similar spread and a dense, upright to mounding, well-branched growth habit. The foliage is elliptical in shape with minutely serrated margins and will reach 2.75" long and 1" wide. In fall the leaves turn shades of dark red. The narrowly conical flowering racemes will reach around 4" long and are made up of small, fragrant, creamy white blooms. Commonly sold at nurseries and garden centers under the name FIZZY MIZZY. Plant patent number PP33549 applies to this cultivar.


No serious insect or disease problems. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


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.

The small size of 'SMNIVMM' makes it suitable for large containers.