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Witch Alder Is Lovely Across The Seasons

Our native witch alders are wonderful additions to any garden.

Fothergilla major

Photo: Bob Gutowski (flickr)

Fothergilla major.

Our native witch alder, Fothergilla, comes from the southeastern United States.

F. gardenia is a dwarf variety and grows two to three feet tall, with the same spread. Fragrant white flowers that look like pussy willows are produced on naked stems in April and May. These flowering stems are wonderful for indoor displays.

The leaves that follow the flowers are dark green in summer and orange and yellow in autumn, so this shrub has nice variety across the seasons, and it has the additional bonus of being trouble-free.

Plant witch alder near evergreens so the fallen needles provide the acidity in the soil that this shrub likes. This shrub can be used in foundation plantings and borders and combines well with rhododendrons.

Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’ is a tall five to nine foot shrub that can be used as a deciduous hedge. If you feel it would work in your garden, try a serpentine hedge.

The hybrid Fothergilla ‘intermedia’ is compact and blooms early in late winter and has red fall color.

The dwarf ‘Blue Mist’ is two to three feet tall and has blue-tinted foliage and deliciously  honey- scented spring flowers and bright fall color.

In zones 5 to 9 our native witch-alders grow in full sun to part shade, (They prefer more shade in hot summers.), and are lovely additions to any garden.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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  • Justbuyflowers

    Nice Flower..

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