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Fothergilla gardenii

Fothergilla gardenii L.

Fothergilla parvifolia Kearney

Dwarf Fothergilla

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassHamamelidaeWind-pollinated shrubs
OrderHamamelidalesWitch hazels and related plants
FamilyHamamelidaceaeWitch-hazels
GenusFothergillaFor English physician John Fothergill
Speciesgardenii“For the garden”

About plant names...

Fothergilla is for John Fothergill, a physician and gardener. Gardenii doesn’t mean “looks good in a garden”—it recognizes Dr. Alexander Garden, a contemporary of Fothergill’s for whom the gardenia is also named. Dwarf fothergilla is native to the American southeast.

Identification: This deciduous shrub is 18-36" (45-91 cm) tall and 24-48" (60-121 cm) wide, with crookedly branching stems. It produces numerous white flowerheads that look like bottlebrushes. Each flowerhead is 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long and ¾-1" (1.9-2.5 cm) in diameter. The brushlike filaments are white flower stamens and pale yellow anthers; there are no petals. The flowers smell a bit like honey. Leaves are alternate, 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long, glossy, dark green or gray-green to blue-green, with prominent veins and shallow lobes or teeth. They become brilliant red, orange, yellow, and pink in the fall. Fruits are inconspicuous green capsules that turn olive brown.

Online References:

Fothergilla major 'Mt. Airy' in Paghat's Garden (this is about a cultivated variety of Fothergilla, but it includes an interesting story about the people behind the plants)

Fothergilla gardenii at the Ohio State University PLANTFacts database

Fothergilla gardenii on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Fothergilla gardenii at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Fothergilla gardenii at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Fothergilla gardenii on whatcom.wsu.edu

Fothergilla gardenii description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Fothergilla gardenii (Dwarf Fothergilla)

5/12/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (16 × 10 cm)

Range:

About this map...