sweetspire Grossulariaceae Itea
virginica L. symbol: ITVI
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical, finely serrated, 2 to 4 inches long, 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide, green above and slightly paler below.
Flower: White, 1/4 inch across, occurring in terminal arching rachemes, usually quite abundant, appearing in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Small (1/4 inch) elongated, woody capsules occurring in rachemes, appearing in mid-summer and persisting into winter.
Twig: Slender, arching, green turning red in fall; buds small, triangular, leaf scar with 3 bundle scars, chambered pith.
Bark: Smooth, developing splits and turning brown.
Form: Arching, loose shrub, reaching 6 to 8 feet.
Looks like: summersweet clethra - swamp doghobble - coast leucothoe - fetterbush lyonia
Additional Range Information: Itea virginica is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting sweetspire.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson