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Virginia-willow, Virginia sweetspire
Itea virginica
Escalloniaceae
 

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General 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.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Medium slender woody shrub. Leaves 2-5 inches long. Temperate deciduous.

Dimensions: Typically 3-8 feet in height; to about 10 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to Broward and Collier counties. Very rare in Broward County.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Swamps and mesic hammocks.

Soils: 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: Spring.

Fruit: Inconspicuous capsule.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides some food and cover for wildlife. Attracts pollinating bees.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: 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.


Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley


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