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Sale Fothergilla x intermedia 'Mt. Airy' (witch alder)

Fothergilla x intermedia 'Mt. Airy' (witch alder)

$19.00
Next available Monday or Tuesday

Unavailable Available Only few left Out of Stock Pre-order
Deciduous shrub

Mt. Airy Fothergilla or witch alder is the gold standard for all Fothergillas. Michael Dirr selected it from Mt. Airy Arboretum 30 years ago and no other Fothergilla has appreciated like Mt. Airy - it stands the test of time.

White, 2" tall, bottlebrush-style flowers blanket Mt. Airy from top to bottom. It's covered in these cute, tiny bottlebrushes for a fairly long time - 3 to 4 weeks - in spring.

The term "kaleidoscopic fall color" is a bit hackneyed, but truthfully, I can't come up with a better term. Rather, I'll emphasize it and claim that fall color is extraordinarily kaleidoscopic.

It's unpredictably kaleidoscopic too. One year you might find red, orange, and yellow on the same shrub; other years the entire shrub might be red, orange, or yellow. More like a mood ring than a kaleidoscope? Any color, it's reliable for excellent fall color.

Thanks to Mike Dirr for the pictures.

  • a woodland plant for naturalizing
  • yet, I see Mt. Airy planted around retail buildings/malls, office parks, and residential settings that try for a more naturalistic plantings and in those often challenging settings (hot, sunny, bad soils), it doesn't miss a beat
  • tougher than given credit
  • Mt. Airy is a gentle colinizer - it's not aggressive and plays nice with its neighbors (in general, I like colonizers because they fill in areas and make that particular gardening decision for me)
colonizer, fragrant flowers, pollinator plant
Common Name
Mt. Airy fothergilla, fothergilla, witch alder
Other Names
Mount Airy Fothergilla
USDA Hardiness Zones
4b-8b
Size
medium
Class
flowering shrub, deciduous
Shape
round
Height
4-5'
Width
4-5'
Growth Rate
average
Flower Color
white
Showy Flower?
yes
Flower Season
spring
Leaf Colors
  • Spring: blue-green
  • Summer: blue-green
  • Fall: red, yellow, orange
Fall Leaf Color Quality
extraordinary
Native to USA?
yes
Native To
Eastern US
Soil Moisture Requirements
average garden soil, moist-but-draining, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
acid to neutral
Light Requirements
full sun, part shade
To Make It Thrive
Fothergillas must have acid soils; avoid high pH (alkaline) conditions. For best head-to-toe flowering, make sure it gets at least half a day of sun, even in the Deep South (where morning sun would be best). Moist soils that are well-drained are a must. Avoid areas that puddle. Mulch well, especially when planted in landscape settings. This is a woodland lover, but I see it thriving in home landscapes that receive modest irrigation during a drought.
Plant Patent
n/a
I've seen Mt. Airy listed as Fothergilla major, why are you calling it F. x intermedia?
Turns out it is a hybrid. A study published in 2007 by Dr. Tom Ranney et al at NC State found this cultivar, and many others, to be a hybrid between F. gardenii and F. major, hence F. x intermedia.

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