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Virginia Willow/Sweetspire - Itea virginica

Virginia Willow/Sweetspire - Itea virginica

PriceFrom $10.00

•Status in Florida: Native

•Size at Maturity: Typically grows 3 to 5 feet tall and wide, but can reach up to 10 feet under optimal conditions.

•Phenology: Deciduous shrub with arching branches, elliptical leaves, and fragrant white flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer, often followed by red to purplish foliage in fall.

•Life Cycle: Perennial

•Bloom Season: Late spring to early summer

•Deciduous, Dioecious, Evergreen: Deciduous

•Sunlight Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

•Soil Texture: Moist, fertile soils; tolerant of clay, loam, or sandy soils

•Soil pH: Tolerant of a wide range, but prefers slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.0-7.0)

•Moisture Requirements: Prefers consistently moist to wet soil, but can tolerate occasional periods of drought once established

•Tolerance to Salt Spray: Low tolerance

•Recommended Landscape Uses: Native plant gardens, woodland gardens, rain gardens, pond edges, naturalized areas

•Maintenance Tips: Low maintenance; prune as needed to maintain shape and remove dead or damaged branches; may benefit from occasional rejuvenation pruning

•Considerations: Virginia Willow/Sweetspire can spread by suckering and may form dense thickets if not managed.

•Deer and/or Rabbit Resistance: Moderately resistant; typically not preferred by deer or rabbits

•Edible: Not typically consumed

•Medicinal Uses: Not commonly used in herbal medicine

•Toxicity to Pets: Not known to be toxic to pets, but ingestion of large quantities of plant material may cause gastrointestinal upset.

•Florida Native Companion Plant: Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

•Wildlife Benefit: Attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies; provides habitat and food for various insects and birds

•Caterpillar Host Plant: Virginia Willow/Sweetspire is a host plant for the caterpillars of various butterfly species, including the Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) and the Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax).

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