Virginia sweetspire is an erect, mound-shaped, slender-branched, deciduous shrub. Small, white, fragrant flowers bloom in drooping racemes that accent the slightly arching branches. Flowers open from base to tip so that the plant appears to bloom for a long time. Oval, dark green leaves turn varying shades of red, orange and gold in autumn, providing a mosaic of beautiful colors well into the winter. Most effective in massed plantings, as single plants tend to be a bit scraggly.
Prefers moist, humusy soils, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Can form dense colonies by root suckering if left unchecked. Best flowering occurs with 4 hours of sun per day. This plant blooms on the previous season’s wood, so pruning should be done after flowering.
Provides wildlife cover, nectar for insects and attracts birds.
Height: 3-5 ft.
Spread: 3-5 ft.
Bloom time: June to July
Sun: full sun to part shade
Water: medium to wet
According to Rutgers University, I. virginica are “seldom severely damaged” by deer.