Fothergilla Gardenii or Dwarf Fothergilla

Fothergilla gardenii

Dwarf Fothergilla

Hamamelidaceae

fothergilla-gardenii

The genus bears the name of the physician and botanist J. Fothergill. It contains only four species distributed throughout the coastal and warmer regions of North America. Dwarf fothergilla is a deciduous shrub about 2 m (6 ft) high, of compact habit with upright branches. The leaves are stiff, ovate, glossy green above, a paler green below, with prominent veins, short petioles and sometimes a toothed margin in the upper part of the blade. The flowers, which appear in April, are striking in that they have no petals but only a small calyx with five to seven sepals from which emerges a cluster of 20 to 24 stamens with long white filaments thickening upwards and tipped with yellow, ovoid anthers. The fruit is a felted or hairy capsule with bell-shaped edge.

Propagation is by means of seeds which are stored for the winter at a temperature of about 10° C (50° F), stratified in spring and sown in the autumn. Even though stratified, the seeds take a long time to germinate, sometimes as much as two to three years. Fothergilla can also be propagated by grafting softwood scions with leaves onto Hamamelis virginiana rootstock in summer. It requires humusy, well-drained, moist soil which may be neutral to acidic, and does better in partial shade than in full sun. It is very decorative shrub which is particularly striking when in flower but also attractive in the autumn when the leaves turn yellow to orange. It is best planted as a solitary specimen.

01. May 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Ornamental Shrubs, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Fothergilla Gardenii or Dwarf Fothergilla

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