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Fothergilla Shows Off In Every Season

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - White bottlebrush flowers cover the Fothergilla shrub in spring for about two weeks giving off a light, honey scent. A member of the Witch-hazel family, Fothergilla is native to the Southeastern US and very easy to grow around here.

It’s not a picky plant, put it in full sun for best flowering, to part shade or even full shade! But don’t hide your Fothergilla, because it’s so pretty all year – its rounded leaves with crinkled edges are gray green to blue green all summer, then in fall turn a brilliant mix of colors from yellows and oranges to more dramatic maroons and purples in sunnier sites. In winter, tiny buds decorate the branches holding the promise of another year’s beauty.

Cultivars such as ‘Mt. Airy’ grow to about 5 feet high, while dwarf varieties stay much lower. It’s an easy-going shrub that’s adaptable to different sites and soils, and has few problems with pests; all of which is why people who know plants wonder why more gardens don’t feature at least one Fothergilla.