May 13, 2008

Bottle Brush Plant - Mountain Witch Alder

Bottle brush plant - Fothergilla major - mountain witch Alder
Now when the bulb flowers get our Bye Bye, some other flowers are overtaking the stage in the spotlights. One of the favourite plants in our garden is currently blooming shrub Fothergilla major. It came to me as a little plant 2 years ago.

Doesn't grow too fast, but it has 4 lovely features.

1. Shape of flowers - little bottle brushes.

2. Flowers are somewhat fragrant - there is not enough frangrance in the garden - right?

3. It has glossy, dark green, rounded leaves with toothed edges. These turn brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow in autumn - utterly spectacular colors.

4. Is troublefree - isn't it important to not spend all the time in the garden while working? Pottering about, laying on the sun, watching thoughtlessly the sky and checking what is going on there...
... wait a sec, this cloud resembled me North American continent - or my eyes are fooling me?
When these flower appear in May, they make me smile whenever I look at it. I am very happy it came to my garden :)

Exposure: full sun, partial shade will be tolerated (it grows in partial shade in my garden and is doing well)

Hardiness: hardy to zone 5

Soil type: well-drained/light, acidic

Height: 260cm

Spread: 250cm

It is recommended to combine with Pieris japonica "Mountain Fire", Pyracantha angustifolia, Hydrangeas.


Frances, said...

Oh Ewa, I love your imaginative cloud interpretation! Also love fothergilla. The flowers are so sweet and the leaves are the most beautiful colors in fall. They will grow nearly everywhere in our garden and spread by suckering enough to divide them for use in those troubling spots, like under the walnut tree where the rhododendrons were poisoned by the walnut juglones. Your photo of the flower is gorgeous.

Frances at Faire Garden

garden girl said...

What a great shrub Ewa. I love bottlebrush-shaped blooms too. My tiarellas, called Neon Lights are blooming now, and they have bottlebrushes. They are small and pale pink, so maybe they are baby girl bottlebrushes!

Gail said...


I have this plant in my garden, it is lovely isn't it! We are tempting fate in our more nearly neutral soil but I do so love the leaves, the flowers and the fall color!

It would be fun to go to a nursery in Poland and see what other North American beauties are sold...we have lots of European plants in our nurseries.

Your photographs are great!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have been wanting one of these for some time. After seeing your pictures it has reignighted that want.

Yes, that cloud looks like North America. Very unusual. Great spotting on your part.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ewa, When I saw "bottlebrush" I immediately thought of the one we have in California, which is red (and attracts zillions of hummingbirds). I was so surprised to see white flowers! Now I will have to google and see if this is related. Does it also attract hummingbirds?

I'm going to add your blog to my blogroll.I'm really enjoying. Love the clouds. Made me smile. :)
Fondly, Kathryn

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

OK I'm sold, I want a bottlebrush too as it sounds like a great shrub. Oh wait, it needs acidic soil, no wonder I don't have one. Sigh!

Marie said...

Beautiful flowers :)

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That is a love shrub and your pictures are beautiful!

hortoris said...

A nice scented shrub - I must try grow one