Virginia-willow, Virginia sweetspire
Itea virginica

Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also an accent shrub in wet areas.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

An occasional element in freshwater swamps and mesic hammocks.
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Medium slender woody shrub. Leaves 2-5 inches long. Temperate deciduous.
Typically 3-8 feet in height; to about 10 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to Broward and Collier counties. Very rare in Broward County.
Swamps and mesic hammocks.
Wet to moist, poorly-drained to moderately well-drained organic soils.
Nutritional Requirements:
High; requires rich organic soils for optimal growth.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Light shade to moderate shade, or sometimes full sun.
Flower Color:
White or pale pink.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, in terminal spike-like racemes to 5 inches long.
Flowering Season:
Inconspicuous capsule.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides some food and cover for wildlife. Attracts pollinating bees.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
This uncommon shrub is very attractive when in flower. It is not a true willow. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.

Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton