Fothergilla gardenii, or Garden Fothergilla.
I don’t really know another common name for
this plant. It might be because it’s not a
very widely available player or a very common
plant, but it’s a wonderful American native
shrub. It gets no taller than six to eight
feet. The garden variety, the Garden Fothergilla
gets five to six ft and grows very slowly.
so it’s a great plant for the home landscape.
It’s also a great plant to put next to a bench,
or the terrace, or the patio, because it has
a wonderful spring fragrance.
The flowers of Fothergilla are little clusters
that appear like a bottlebrush. They’re fragrant
and they persist about two weeks in the spring.
Bees love it, the honeybees are working this
plant. It’s a little bit windy right now but
the bees really do love Fothergilla. After
the flowers fall the summer foliage is a wonderful
light green, some varieties have a sort of
a blue green cast to them adding additional
interest to the summer garden.
The second season, and some would say the
best season because it lasts longer, for the
Fothergilla is the fall color. In October
this plant changes from that mid green light
green color, and you will find oranges and
reds and purples on the plant at the same
time, it’s a fabulous Fall display.
Fothergilla belongs to the Hamamelidaceae
or Whitch Hazel family. The genus name comes
from a Doctor John Fothergill who lived in
England, seventeen twelve to seventeen eighty.
He was a physician and botanist and gardener.
You want to plant this in well drained soil,
average gardon soil is just fun doesn’t have
to be too rich. And you want full sun or dappled
shade. The dappled shade in the afternoon
is a good thing for Fothergilla, it protects
it against the the extreme heat of summer.
You want to plant it next to a bench, the
patio, the terrace, or the walkway leading
to the house, where the wonderful aroma will
enhance the outdoor experience for you, either
getting home were sitting on the terrace.