Yes please, I'll take three. Some times it is that simple.
The brief description above is describing Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire) 'Henry's Garnet (and I'm sure it is a good description of other shrubs, but I digress):
This deciduous shrub fits my growing conditions perfectly and when that happens, I bow at the altar of said shrub. Some more details on my buddy:
- Survives zone 5-9
- Prefers full sun to partial shade - I can vouch that it works well in both
- Reaches a maximum height of about 4' and a spread of about 6'
- Prefers wet soil but will work in soil with average moisture
- For me, it has bloomed from the end of May until the middle to end of June
- The blooms are white, 3-6 " cylindrical racemes that allegedly are fragrant but I've yet to notice that
- The foliage is a dark green that is a bit slow to leaf out in spring so no need to panic
- The fall color is fantastical and the reason for the cultivar name
- This cultivar was discovered at Swarthmore College in the early 80's most likely while the founder was listening to Duran Duran on his Walkman (OK, I made that last part up.)
Some personal photos I've taken over the past two years:
An explosion of bloom, taken about a week ago:
A closer shot of the bottle brush like blooms:
The foliage starting to change color in late Summer:
I like the combination of the Itea's fall foliage color with yellow or chartreuse foliage. That is Acorus Gramineus 'Oborozuki' (Variegated Sweet Flag) in the photo below:
But most importantly, the amazing fall foliage color (taken in late November):
I have three of these shrubs and each has been provided with ample room to sucker and form colonies at their will. I won't prune them a bit.
If you do not have the room for these, there is a dwarf version 'Little Henry' that is easily available. I'm thinking about test driving one of them myself.