A choice shrub, rare in the wholesale trade because it is so very compact, no more than 3 feet in twenty years, producing almost no cuttings. Large, snow-white flowers and deep green foliage which turns brilliant red in autumn.
Fothergilla x intermedia 'Mt. Airy' (Mt. Airy Dwarf Fothergilla)
A select American native, 'Mt. Airy' merits wider use as compared to its close relatives, the witchhazels, which are much larger in mature stature. Exhibits excellent hardiness, attractive summer foliage and spectacular autumn color. The white bottlebrush flowers are borne in showy abundance during April/May.
Due to its multi-season appeal, this multi-stemmed tree, introduced from China only in 1980, is finally starting to gain followers. Covered with large clusters of white flowers in mid summer, in late summer and fall it displays great masses of pink-red seeds. Finally, the winter season highlights its shaggy bark - the color of soft beach sand. It does require shaping to highlight its normally "stemmy" form - a central leader formed early helps to make it a highly marketable tree, but it cannot be reshaped if neglected when small.
A prolific bloomer, its stout stems ensure that the flowers don't droop. Although the coarse leaves give it an almost tropical appearance, the autumn leaf colors are a rich mix of red, burnt orange, and green. When the notably persistent foliage drops, the tan/brown exfoliating bark is a pleasing unexpected bonus.