Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Alabama Snow Wreath


{{{This post was written for my website A Southern Garden}}}

This shrub is blooming beautifully in my garden today!

Alabama Snow Wreath
(Neviusia alabamensis)

Native to the southeastern U.S.
Mature Height: 3-6 ft.
Growth Rate: Moderate
Soil: Moist, well-drained, not picky
Light Requirements: Sun/partial shade
Foliage: 1" - 2" long medium green leaves, deciduous, alternate with sharp-toothed margins
Flower/Fruit: White protruding stamens in early spring
Hardy to Zone 4

Discovered in 1857 by Reverend Reuben Denton Nevius on a bluff above the Black Warrior River near Tuscaloosa, this is a rare shrub not often seen in nurseries or gardens. I obtained mine from a local nursery that specializes in native plants but it can also be purchased at Forest Farm (www.forestfarm.com).

The shrub forms arching branches that eventually form a rounded mound. The flowers (which are actually stamens) appear very early, as soon as other plants are leafing out. They resemble a spirea or maybe a loropetalum in appearance. I have mine growing underneath a yoshino cherry tree where it receives dappled shade. It has bloomed reliably but never densely (more profuse bloom would probably be achieved with more sun). I have been told that the shrub can sucker in rich, moist soils but so far, this has not been a problem.

After blooming, the shrub is fairly nondescript and there is no fall color. Alabama Snow Wreath would be right at home in a woodland garden or in a border mixed with other early spring-flowering shrubs.

8 comments:

  1. Phillip,
    It's a beautiful flowering shrub that I have admired in my gardening books...does it have any fragrance?

    Gail

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  2. This flower reminds me of my Virgin's Bower one .. nice !
    Joy

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  3. Gail, sadly there is no fragrance.

    Thanks Joy!

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  4. The folers remind me of a fothergilla that i have. The leaves look simular also.

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  5. I meant flowers. I need to proof read before I hit the button.

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  6. Oh nice one! I have read about this plant but haven't ever seen one.

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  7. Thanks for the information. I purchased two of these at a plant sale yesterday because we love to add native plants to our garden, but no one I talked to could tell me anything about them. This is just what I needed. Your garden is beautiful!

    Emily

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  8. Do you know an online site where I can purchase it? I garden in northern Delaware.

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