Itea ilicifolia

Plant name: Itea ilicifolia

Virtues: Flowers offer a honeyed scent, nearly foot long catkins, and handsome evergreen foliage.

Bloom color: Long, catkinlike racemes with tiny, fragrant greenish white flowers.

Foliage: Glossy green leaves.

Goes great with: This bushy gem looks best up front in a mixed border where its breathtaking beauty beckons visitors to take a closer glimpse.

Habit: 6 to 12 feet high by 8 to 10 feet wide.

Season: Blooms from June to September.

Suggested by: Debra Wigham of Digging Dog Nursery (www.diggingdog.com).

Where does it come from: Originally hails from western China.

Tips: Holly sweetspire likes moist, deep, rich soil and partial shade. Zones 7 to 9.

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