Fothergilla gardenii

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium, high

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam, clay, sand

Height: 1'-3'

Bloom Time: April, May

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 7, 8

Additional Tags: colonizing, fall interest, fragrant flowers, hedging plant, mounding, shade garden plant

Fothergilla gardenii (dwarf witchalder)
  • Fothergilla gardenii (dwarf witchalder)
  • Fothergilla gardenii (dwarf witchalder)
  • Fothergilla gardenii (dwarf witchalder)
  • Fothergilla gardenii (dwarf witchalder)

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Fothergilla gardenii

Also known as:

dwarf witchalder


dwarf fothergilla

Scientific Synonyms:

Fothergilla parvifolia


Dwarf witchalder is a compact, dense, deciduous shrub that only grows to about 3 feet tall. Its fragrant, white flowers are petal-less and bloom in upright, spikes with conspicuous white stamens.These give the flowers the appearance of a short bottle-brush or elongated pom pom. The foliage of this species emerges after the flowers. Its green leaves are leathery, oblong and produce brilliant hues of yellow, orange, and red in fall. The divided, crooked stems are attractive when bare providing this species with year-round interest.


Fothergilla gardenii is native to the southeastern United Sates and grows best in moist well-drained, acidic soil; conditions similar to those ideal for rhododendrons and azaleas. Dwarf witchalder will tolerate somewhat drier conditions in part-shade, however it flowers best in full sun. It may be used as a specimen, or in mass plantings and hedges. This species may colonize by root suckers. Blooms April and May. Zones 7-8


Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings or by separating suckers from mature plants. It is difficult to propagate from seed.

Additional Notes

Dwarf witchalder makes an excellent foundation plant, but is just as suitable for borders, hedges and light-shade gardens. It is a great background shrub for perennial beds.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: FL
  • Threatened: GA


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Hamamelididae
Order Hamamelidales
Family Hamamelidaceae Witch-hazel family
Genus Fothergilla witchalder
Species Fothergilla gardenii dwarf witchalder