Native Plant Spotlight: Virginia Sweetspire

virginia sweetspire

Virginia Sweetspire

Itea virginica


Virginia Sweetspire is a medium sized wetland shrub found along freshwater streams, bogs and swamps. Growing to a maximum height of 8’ it provides good ground cover for mammals, seeds for birds and nectar for pollinators. At the peak of its blooming season the plant is covered with 4” spires of white flowers and will undoubtedly be abuzz with every nectar loving insect, and their predators, found in the area. Its fall foliage is characterized by a long lasting transition from red to purple, with leaves remaining on the shrub well into winter.

Bloom Time: April through June

Light Requirement: Part Shade

Height: 3’ – 6’

Soil Moisture: High – needs to remain moist, not drought tolerant.

Soil pH: Acid (<6.8)

Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.

In the Garden: Virginia Sweetspire, combined with Sweet Pepperbush make an excellent attractor for butterflies, providing nectar at the beginning and end of the season. It is very attractive when in bloom and during the autumn. Note, Virginia Sweetspire reproduces with runners, forming colonies, and can be invasive in the garden setting.

Login Form


St. Mary's County Public Schools

Charting a Course to Excellence

Home  | For Students | For Parents | For Teachers | Nursery |

The Elms Environmental Education Center is the home of Environmental Education for St. Mary's County Public Schools.

Unless otherwise indicated all original content on this site is free and in the public domain.