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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