Fothergilla major (Sims) Lodd.
Large Fothergilla, Mountain Witchelder
Fothergilla is named for John Fothergill, a physician and gardener. Large fothergilla is native to the Allegheny Mountains in the American southeast. Fothergilla major is the largest of the fothergillas.
Identification: This woody deciduous shrub is 6-10' (1.8-3 m) tall and 6-8' (1.8-2.4 m) wide, with crooked, zig-zagged stems. It produces numerous white flowerheads that look like bottlebrushes. Each flowerhead is 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long and 1-0" (2.5-0 cm) in diameter. The brushlike filaments are white flower stamens and pale yellow anthers; there are no petals. The flowers smell a bit like honey. Leaves are alternate, 3-5" (7.6-12 cm) long, glossy, dark green, with prominent veins and shallow lobes or teeth. They become brilliant purple, red, orange, and yellow in the fall. Fruits are inconspicuous green capsules that turn olive brown.
Fothergilla major on www.carolinanature.com
Fothergilla major 'Mt. Airy' in Paghat's Garden
Fothergilla major at the University of Connecticut Plant Database
Fothergilla major on floridata.com
Fothergilla major on saveplants.org
Fothergilla major at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Fothergilla major at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Fothergilla major at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum (PDF)
Fothergilla major on eFloras
Fothergilla major description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.