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Replace ‘Burning Bush’ with ‘Sweet’ Alternative

Itea virginica showing its fall colors (credit: Phran Novelli)

Itea virginica showing its fall colors (credit: Phran Novelli)

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Philadelphia (CBS) — Get rid of your ‘Burning Bush’ – it’s foreign, it’s invasive and it’s terribly overused. Need another reason? There’s an even prettier plant that’s native; it’s called Itea virginica, also known as ‘Virginia Sweetspire.’

Itea’s lush green leaves come out in spring, then in early summer, the shrub’s covered with white flowers – soft racemes that look like tiny feather boas swaying in the breeze, sending their sweet smell wafting across your yard.

This time of year, the leaves turn a brilliant red color that lasts several weeks. Two of the most colorful cultivars are ‘Henry’s Garnet’ which gets 4- to 6-feet high, and the smaller-sized ‘Little Henry’ that stays a tidy two feet or so.

Itea is incredibly easy to grow because it’s happy in sun or shade, not very fussy about soil, and extremely well behaved. One of the most satisfying things you can do this fall is to yank out your ‘Burning Bush Euonymus and plant Itea in its place.

Reported By Phran Novelli, KYW Newsradio

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