Another Perfect Plant: Fothergilla gardenii

Fothergilla gardenii is one of two species of Fothergilla. Native to the Southeastern United States, F. gardenii is stunning in all seasons – beautiful and unique flowers in the spring, robust foliage in the summer and fall, and interesting winter form. F. gardenii is smaller than F. major and in their native ranges do not typically overlap. Since both species have been in cultivation since the 1700’s there has been plenty of opportunity for hybridization and cross pollination - it is now thought that many of the F. gardenii cultivars on the market are interspecific hybrids between F. major and F. gardenii. Reproducing Fothergilla by seed can be tricky, requiring breaking multiple levels of dormancy, though vegetative propagation does not seem to have similar constraints. Fairly easy to cultivate in full sun with moist acidic soils (part shade in drier conditions), F. gardenii stays small and compact and will form suckering communities if it is happy.  

References:
Georgia Wildlife 
Fothergilla in Cultivation, Rick Darke 
The Morton Arboretum

Photo Reference:
The Hillside Garden Center

 

   

 

Paul Cady

Paul is a landscape designer with a professional background in public horticulture. His years of experience maintaining both public and private gardens provide an informed perspective on choosing, arranging, and placing plants in the landscape. He is committed to creating landscapes that will survive and thrive over time through making informed plant choices and developing written landscape management plans.