Garden Fundamentals - Learn about plants and garden design

Itea virginica Little Henry

Itea virginica Little Henry by Robert Pavlis

Itea virginica Little Henry by Robert Pavlis

Itea virginica ‘Sprich’, aka Little Henry, is a small shrub that offers several seasons of interest. Adding it to a rock garden containing larger plants would be a perfect place for it. Alternatively it can make a nice addition to the front of a perennial bed. Since it can take quite heavy shade it also works well in a shade garden, next to your favorite hosta. It will look its best with at least 6 hours of sun.

Itea virginica Little Henry by Robert Pavlis

Itea virginica Little Henry by Robert Pavlis

It blooms in early summer on old wood producing a unique flower scape that is extremely fragrant. It then has nice, shiny, light green leaves for the rest of the summer, until it’s leaves turns vibrant burgundy red in fall.

Itea virginica goes by the common name Virginia sweetspire which refers to its long flower scape and fragrance. It is also known as the Virginia willow. Little Henry is the trademarked name for this miniature version of the species. It prefers wet conditions, but will adapt to dry gardens. It does sucker a small amount but it is both deer and disease resistant.

Itea virginica Little Henry by Robert Pavlis

Itea virginica Little Henry by Robert Pavlis

Itea virginica Little Henry

 (eye-TEE-uh  vir-JIN-ih-kuh)

Life Cycle: shrub

Height: 60cm (2 ft)

Bloom Time: early summer

Natural Range: New Jersey to eastern Texas, south to South Carolina, for the species

Habitat: wet, wooded stream banks; swamps; low pine barrens

Synonyms:  none

Cultivation of Itea virginica Little Henry

Light: full sun to shade

Soil: humusy soil

Water: wet preferred but will grow dry

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 9

Propagation: division and cuttings

If you like this post, please share .......
Robert Pavlis
Editor of GardenFundamentals.com

I live in southern Ontario, Canada, zone 5 and have been gardening a long time. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes–I am a plantaholic!


I hope you find Garden Fundamentals an educational site that


Please let me know what you think - Leave a Reply