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Itea chinensisItea chinensis

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Itea chinensis
  • PRONUNCIATION: i-TEA-a chi-NEN-sis
  • COMMON NAME: Chinese Sweetspire
  • FAMILY: Iteaceae
  • NATIVITY: China
  • GROWTH HABIT: Low arching shrub.
  • SIZE: The plant at the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens is 3' tall after 3 years. I expect the plant may reach 6' and as broad.
  • HARDINESS: Zone 7 - 9, has withstood 0°F with no injury in a sheltered site.
  • CULTURE: Sun to partial shade with adequate moisture. Does not appear to be fussy.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Use in groups, as a mass for the evergreen foliage or in naturalistic settings.
  • FOLIAGE: Alternate, oblong to obovate, pronouncedly serrate, apex mucronate,
    base obtuse, 3 - 5" long, leathery. Leaves dark green above, lighter beneath.
    Petioles about 1/2 ".
  • BUDS: Small , about 1/32", imbricately scaled with 6 scales, red with ciliate margin.
  • BARK: Young stems green, glabrous, maturing gray.
  • FLOWERS: The plant at the botanic gardens has not flowered, I have not found
    a description of the flowers. Assume them to be small, white and arranged in racemes.
  • FRUIT: Brown capsule.
  • PROPAGATION: Seed, cuttings.
  • PESTS: None serious.