Holly-leaved sweet spire, Itea illicifolia

Itea illicifolia

Holly-leaved sweet spire

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Itea illicifolia
  • Common name: Holly-leaved sweet spire
  • Family: Iteaceae
  • Plant Type: Shrub, Evergreen
Flower colour:

Yellow

Foliage colour:

Green

Commonly known as holly-leaved sweet spire or Virginian willow, Itea illicifolia is an evergreen shrub native to western China.

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It’s predominantly grown for its dramatic, fragrant racemes of flowers that appear from mid- to late summer and attract pollinating insects. It also makes a fantastic wall shrub, so is good for clothing a bare wall in colour all year, though it can also be grown as a free-standing shrub.

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For best results, grow Itea illicifolia in full sun or partial shade in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Ideally provide it with some shelter, especially when young, as it may suffer if grown in a windy spot. Itea illicifolia holds the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

How to grow Itea illicifolia

  • Plant size

    5m height

    3m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Back

  • Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Acidic / chalky / alkaline / clay / heavy / moist / well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do not Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do not Take cuttings in March

Do not Take cuttings in April

Do not Take cuttings in May

Do not Take cuttings in June

Do not Take cuttings in July

Do Take cuttings in August

Do Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do not Take cuttings in December

Itea illicifolia and wildlife

Itea illicifolia is known for attracting bees and beneficial insects. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Attractive to Bees

Attractive to Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Does not attract Other pollinators

Is Itea illicifolia poisonous?

Itea illicifolia has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Itea illicifolia