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Campus Gardens

Fothergilla gardenia
Fothergilla or Witch alder
Family: Hamamelidaceae

This 4' to 6' tall shrub covers itself with soft, white flowers each spring before leaves emerge (Fig. 1). It appears to be covered with snow when in full bloom. Bright red, orange or yellow fall color brings the shrub back to life before leaves fall to the ground. Leaves are dark green with rounded teeth on the margin toward the tip. Flower is early to bloom around mid May. Flowers are white and arranged in clusters that are slightly fragrant. It can be used in a shrub border to spice up the yard in spring and fall. It can be used as a foundation plant or in groupings. Fothergilla prefers a moist, acidic, cool and well-drained soil with partial shade to full sun. Hardy in zones 5-9.

Colleen Tobin

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