Fothergilla – Georama Growers Plant of the Week

August 19, 2013 Case News

Common Names:      Witch Alder

Botanical Names:      Fothergilla major

FothergillaTo contine with last weeks theme of introducing lesser known plants, I have selected the Fothergilla. We first came across this great shrub while on a tour of Monrovia Nursery in Oregon with my son Thomas about 14 years ago. Its georgeous fall colours  should be better known to gardeners, bright yellow, orange, red and purple – all on the same shrub!  White, puffy flowers sprout from all the tips in spring and are known for their lovely, sweet scent. Native Fothergillas are found in moist woodland areas of southeastern America, and grow best in an acid, humous soil. They can grow in some shade, but a more sunny location  will bring out better blooms and a richer fall colour.  Fothergillas are remarkably pest and problem free, and will adapt to a wide range of growing conditions. The native Fothergilla will grow to about 8’ high, but cultivated varieties (cultivars) have been developed and selected to keep them to about 3’ to 5’,  so they will fit into our urban landscapes. ‘Mt. Airy’ Fothergilla is much better  than the species, with outstanding fall colur and improved flowering. Hardy enough to plant  in the Kootenays, Fothergillas will make a striking display – Spring and Fall, almost anywhere in your landscape – foundation plantings, shrub borders or natural gardens

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