Our Mission:

The Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association, located in Rock County, Wisconsin, is the 42nd association of the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program.

This blog is used to distribute timely information to association members regarding volunteer opportunities, MGV highlights, and other social tid bits.

Horticulture related information is to be directed to the Horticulture Educator or the Plant Health Advisors.

This blog is not for garden related questions.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What is Fothergilla Major?

With spring so close it's always exciting to try to determine what floral delights we'll be seeing in the days to come. I was inspired by Mark Dwyer's photos of the snowdrops that have peeped through the mulch and endured the snow at Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Wondering what would be next, I did a little research. One delightful specimen that gives beauty not only through its blossoms but through its foliage - Fothergilla Major, cultivar Mt. Airy - is one of spring's earliest arrivals. Besides being a lovely specimen, it has the distinction of having been a Georgia Gold Medal winner in 1994. It was discovered over 30 years ago in the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio, by one of the biggest names in horticulture, Dr. Michael Dirr.

Mt. Airy is considered a superior selection with its large blooms and brilliant falll color. The bottle-brush blooms are creamy white and give off a sweet honey fragrance. Flowers are borne on naked stems until the foliage emerges. In fall Mt. Airy foliage turns to a blending of oranges, yellows and reds. It's a preferred shrub for a perennial border or woodland environment. Grows to 5-6 feet with a spread of about 6 feet. Perfers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soils.

You might want to consider this lovely shrub for this year's planting.

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