Forthergilla Mount Airy
‘Mount Airy’ is a hybrid fothergilla cultivar that was discovered by plantsman Michael A. Dirr at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a vigorous deciduous shrub that grows 4-5’ tall and is noted for its profuse spring flowering, excellent summer foliage, excellent fall color and consistently upright habit. Terminal, bottlebrush-like spikes (1-3” long) of tiny, fragrant, apetulous, white flowers bloom in spring (April-May) after the foliage emerges. Flower color comes from the dense clusters of showy stamens (white filaments and yellowish anthers). Flowers have a honey-scented frangance. Leathery, ovate to obovate leaves (2-4” long) are dark green above and bluish gray beneath. Foliage turns excellent shades of yellow, orange and red-purple in fall. Genus name honors Dr. John Fothergill, 18th century English physician and early collector of American plants. ‘Mount Airy’ may be a cross between two southeastern U. S. natives, F. gardeniiand, F. major. It is taller than the former but shorter than the latter.