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Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’

 

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
Speciesmajor“Larger, greater”
Cultivar‘Mt. Airy’

About plant names...

This cultivated variety of Fothergilla is a hybrid of Fothergilla gardenii—dwarf witch fothergilla, and Fothergilla major—large fothergilla. It is not found in the wild. 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. This variety was discovered at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, OH, by Michael Dirr.

Identification: This deciduous shrub is 4-6' (1.2-1.8 m) tall. It produces numerous white flowerheads resembling bottle-brushes. Each flower spike is 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long and 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 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, 2-5" (5-12 cm) long, glossy, dark green, with prominent veins. They become brilliant red, orange, yellow, and purple in the fall. Fruits are inconspicuous green capsules.

Online References:

Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’ in Paghat's Garden

Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’ on FLORIDATA

Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’ at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Fothergilla major at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’ on botgarden.uga.edu

Fothergilla major (Fothergilla)

Autumn foliage. · 11/6/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Fothergilla major (Fothergilla)

Autumn foliage. · 11/6/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Fothergilla major (Fothergilla)

5/12/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Fothergilla major (Fothergilla)

6/8/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Fothergilla major (Fothergilla)

5/14/2008 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 23 × 27" (57 × 68 cm)

Fothergilla major (Fothergilla)

5/12/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (24 × 16 cm)

Range: Zones 5-8:

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