Fothergilla gardenii

Masses of white flowers delight in spring, followed by stunning fall color

December 11, 2013

Common name: Dwarf fothergilla

Description: Fothergilla gardenii displays showy flowers in mid-spring and vibrant late autumn foliage. The white, apetalous (no petals) flowers appear in late April or early May as the leaves start to emerge. Autumn color features a vibrant mixture of yellow-orange-pink-scarlet on the same plant at the same time from October to early November. It matures slowly and typically grows to 3 feet high and wide.

Culture: It performs well in full sun to full shade. Plant in moist, rich, well-drained, acid soil that is irrigated during dry periods of summer for best performance. It’s tolerant of wet sites, but not tolerant of dry conditions, partially due to the shallow root system.

Landscape use: Plant along a foundation, en masse, or as a specimen shrub.

Hardiness: USDA Hardiness Zones 5-8.

Some cultivars: ‘Blue Mist’ – The foliage is a distinctive blue-green, with best summer foliage color achieved in partial to full shade, but overall vigor and autumn color is inferior to the species. ‘Mt. Airy’ – It is more vigorous and upright in growth habit (up to 4 feet high), but also more leggy and suckering than the species form, with more abundant flowers and even better autumn color than the species form.

Source: Ohio State University

Photo courtesy of Willoway Nurseries