Maryland Native Plants for Fall Interest

‘Henry’s Garnet’ Sweetspire


henrys garnet sweetspire


‘Henry’s Garnet’ Sweetspire, this week’s native plant spotlight, is a beautiful native Virginia Sweeetspire with fall foliage interest.  It is a deciduous broad shrub with arching branches.  It has large fragrant white flower racemes blooming in late spring to early summer.  In the fall it displays gorgeous foliage in dark red, notably better than other varieties of Sweetspire.  It is drought and deer resistant and can tolerate shade as well as clay soils.  In addition, it has a tolerance for wet soils making it a great addition to any rain garden.

LGS Notes:
“I planted Sweetspire in several fairly shady spots in my own garden and it never disappoints. Pollinators love the cascades of fragrant white flowers and the fall leaf color is spectacular!” –Amy
“I use Henry’s Garnet Sweetspire in almost all of my garden designs that include shrubs. They are resilient, tolerate shade, are deer resistant, have nice spring blooms and pretty fall foliage. Their native range is a bit further south from the Maryland Piedmont but we use them readily because of their versatility in residential landscape. I like to plant them in groups of 3 to 5 so that there is a larger grouping for visual impact.” –Lauren

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Common Name: Virginia sweetspire 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Iteaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Erosion, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Information from Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder