Common name: Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’
Botanical name: Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’
What it is: Why, oh why, don’t we plant more of these? Fothergilla is a sorely under-used native flowering shrub that gets short, white, bottle-brush-like flowers in April and then stunning gold to gold/orange/red leaves in late fall. A witch hazel relative.
Size: 5 to 6 feet tall and wide but can be kept smaller with light pruning.
Where to use: Versatile in many settings from full sun to part shade… even tolerates damp soil. Nice enough to serve as a foundation shrub but equally at home in a mixed border garden or massed in the dappled light of a wooded area. Competes fairly well with tree roots.
Why I like it: I haven’t had disease or pest problems with this drought-resistant shrub. It has great golden-yellow fall color. It looks good with just about anything you put next to it. The Fothergilla pictured here is in my back yard next to a Nandina.