Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)

Itea virginica is known by the common name Virginia Sweetspire or Virginia-willow. So far, I’ve only seen it at Fort Yargo State Park. There are several plants along the trail from the Section B boat launch (segment 2) and some along the shoreline (segment 12). These are somewhat difficult to photograph because the plants tend to hang out over the water.

A bush in flower, in the early morning sun.

The flower head is just developing (April 18th).

Still developing, a little further along (April 23rd).

And still further. (May 2nd).

The flowers are opening from the base of the flower head (May 8th).

The flowers, close up (May 8th).

The flower head is almost completely open (May 14th).

Flowers up close (May 14th).

The fruits are starting to develop (May 28th).

The fruits, up close (May 30th).

Seedpods, empty of seeds.

Empty seedpods, up close.

Itea virginica
(Virginia Sweetspire) is native to the eastern United States but not Canada. It grows from Maryland west to Missouri (with the exception of Iowa and West Virginia), south to Texas and in all states east to the Atlanta Ocean and south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire)

University of North Carolina Herbarium: Itea virginica

Identification resources:
- Southeastern Flora: Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)

Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Itea virginica

Related posts:
- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower - Wildflower Index

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