Fall color from shrubs catches the attention of leaf-peepers, too. Red is one color to stand out from the many golden leaves. Fall color is remarkable in western Kentucky from many native deciduous shrubs, particularly that of Itea.It bears fall leaves of a truly- beautiful red. As a way to achieve more red in the fall landscape, gardeners may look to Itea virginica Virginia Sweetspire as a deciduous shrub to plant. This shrub is known for a cascade of white flowers in late spring. A second benefit comes in the end of the growing season when leaves change to a brilliant-clear red. Unlike the Euonymus alatus burning bush which is invasive, this Itea behaves in the natural surroundings. If adding red as a fall color is on the gardener’s check-list, look to this remarkable shrub.
Submitted by Kathy Wimberely, Agent for Horticulture, McCracken Co. Cooperative Extension Service