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PlantFiles: Virginia Sweetspire, Gooseberry, Itea
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'

Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Itea (eye-TEE-uh) (Info)
Species: virginica (vir-JIN-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Henry's Garnet

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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5 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Jan 3, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This is the most common cultivar grown in southeast PA and probably elsewhere too. It was selected for bearing excellent red fall color and for larger flower clusters, and shiny stems that are more purplish than the average mother species. It is a handsome, clean plant that should be grown more. It does sucker a lot in wet or very moist soils. It is easy to prune.

Neutral jaib On Mar 22, 2013, jaib from Rebecca, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I think I have this plant growing wild on my property. It may be something else. Most are in full sun, but some are in a shady moist area and these are huge, almost like trees. These have been here a long time.
Towards fall the racemes the flowers were on get very tiny green berries that turn brown and fall to the ground. I see the fall pictures but don't see any of these seed racemes on them. We mowed a lot of these down when we bought the property but haven't mowed them since. They are growing like crazy and are four feet tall in two years. Could this be something else? I would send pics but right now they don't look like much. They are just starting to get buds.

Positive Mitchella On Mar 14, 2012, Mitchella from Pownal, ME (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've grown this plant for several years in Buckfield, Maine (zone 5a now) in light shade and moist soil and it did very well with little suckering so far. A great three season selection of a native plant; incidentally not closely related to Ribes, despite the common name Gooseberry. I've recently moved and already have one on order for the new garden.

Positive Osteole On May 23, 2010, Osteole from Lamar, AR (Zone 7a) wrote:

Gorgous blooms in late May. Mine gets 3-4 hours sunlight, clay soil. Starting to send out runners, but they are easily trimmed out of the ground to control spread.

Positive egardenut On Apr 24, 2009, egardenut from Annandale, VA wrote:

I have this plant in my back yard (wood edge, light shade, moist, well-drained soil) and it has done very well. I have expanded my front garden, which gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon, and has drier and more clay-ey soil, but I am going to try another Henry Garnet there. Love the fragrance and the fall color!

Neutral sladeofsky On Jun 27, 2008, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a native plant to the Eastern US, where the genus Ribes has been cultivated as a food crop from at least colonial times. I remember my Great-grandmother having several rows of gooseberries. But those were always Ribes of whatever species. Generally geooseberries are Ribes with fruit much larger than currants and colored green, gold or blush pink. I know how varied common names are, but this one confuses me bcause sweetspires are native and gooseberries are very traditional and common.

Positive braun06 On Jun 25, 2007, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant has been very easy to grow in fairly good shade. In my area depending on soil it can take on some yellowing from high ph soils but is easily correctible. Mine has established very well in one year and has grown quite quickly in its second year. Henry's Garnet is very handsome in leaf and in flower. It has very nice fall coloration too. I have noticed one of my branches has developed a mutation that the leaves are now variegated. They are mottled in different patterns green, creme, and white. When the summer gets warmer some light rose shading occurs on these leaves as well.

Neutral Terry On Sep 4, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant has fragrant attractive racemes of white flowers in mid-Summer, followed by green berries which turn brownish purple.

If given moist soil, it will sucker vigorously, and may spread beyond where it was intended. Provide adequate water, but do not keep constantly moist to help check its growth.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lamar, Arkansas
Morrilton, Arkansas
Glastonbury, Connecticut
Oxford, Connecticut
Southbury, Connecticut
Ocean View, Delaware
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Dunnellon, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Chicago, Illinois
Hanna City, Illinois
Saint Joseph, Illinois
Evansville, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Solsberry, Indiana
Louisville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Buckfield, Maine
Columbia, Maryland
Lakeside, Michigan
Midland, Michigan
Kasota, Minnesota
Carriere, Mississippi
Clinton, Mississippi
Hudson, New Hampshire
Piscataway, New Jersey
Whiting, New Jersey
Central Square, New York
Boone, North Carolina
Cary, North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Highlands, North Carolina
Morehead City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Weaverville, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Geneva, Ohio
North Olmsted, Ohio
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Clover, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Cleburne, Texas
Flint, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Annandale, Virginia
Arlington, Virginia
Lanexa, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Oakton, Virginia

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