Monday, September 27, 2010

Virginia Sweetspires

Virginia Sweetspire
"Henry's Garnet"

One of my favorite native plants is called Virginia Sweetspire. The variety I planted is called "Henry's Garnet," named for the rich garnet red stems that can stop traffic during the winter. Leaves of this variety turn a deep rich velvety merlot color in the fall, wearing well the diamonds of frost.

Virginia Sweetspire naturalizes through root-suckering process, which can become a nuisance if planted in the wrong spot. Full sun keeps them more compact with the promise of scads of spring blooms. Springtime leaves are bright, chartreuse green that mellows and remains a light green throughout the summertime. Tassels of white flowers attract butterflies and bees, while the arching branches dance in the winds.

A Question mark butterfly dines
on Virginia Sweetspire in the spring

Virginia Sweetspires are perfect native plants for naturalized gardens and especially grand for erosion control. Drought doesn't bother them. I miss my Virginia Sweetspires and vow to plant some here this autumn so that I can bring some LIFE into this yard. Without flowers ones yard is simply lifeless. Birds, butterflies and bees just don't bother visiting. That will change.

Enjoy my autumnal and springtime Virginia Sweetspire pics!


Eve said...

Sounds like a great plan for a change of scenery! Lovely photos Debi!

Jenny said...

Useful as well as beautiful (as William Morris sort of said)(-: I'm always in favour of plants and trees that attract other wildlife. This one seems to fit the bill as well as giving amazing autumn colour!

Bo Mackison said...

Love those cool colors - blues, purples - in the sweetspire. A change from all the yellow, orange red we have.

Yes, a yard should have life in it, gives such comfort to the senses, and the easiest way is to fill it with a variety of beautiful plantings.


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