Virginia sweetspire is a native shrub to eastern Oklahoma. It is a mound-shaped, slender-branched,
deciduous shrub generally 3 to 6 feet tall and wide. Small, white, fragrant flowers
bloom in spring to early summer in 4-inch spires that droop with the arching branches.
Flowers open from base to tip, so it appears to bloom for a long time. Leaves turn
red to purple in fall and persist well into the winter.
Plants are found growing in moist, even wet to swampy areas and along stream banks,
in acid soils, but they are not too picky of soil type. Plants grow in shady areas
as an understory plant, but it grows best and has better blooms and fall color if
it receives full sun for at least part of the day.
It is most effective when planted in masses, as single plants tend to be scraggly.
Grow it as an understory plant, for erosion control, in a rain garden, and as a nectar
plant. Several improved cultivars are available..
Exposure: Part shade to full sun
Soil: Moist, acid, tolerates poor drainage
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-9