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Mixed hardwood forest, along stream and on hillsides. Often on calcareous soils.
Native to the southeastern US, from NC south to FL, west TN to LA.
Woody shrub. Leaves 5-7 pointed lobes, similar in appearance to red oak. Flowers in pyramidal or ovate panicles, 15-25 cm long, white changing to green, than to brown; petals 5; sepals 10. Bark pale brown, exfoliating.
Flowers in early June and the panicles persist through most of the summer.
Wetland indicator: NA
Fall color is a mix of purple, red, and orange. Attractive in all seasons. The second image shows the straight species, with a mix of fertile and larger sterile flowers. Some cultivars, like 'Snow Queen' and 'Alice', have mostly sterile flowers which produces a better floral effect (first image). Tolerant of drought and prefers part shade. Hardy to USDA Zone 6, with some cultivars flowering in zone 5.
Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their
Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses.
5th ed. Champaign, Illiois: Stipes Publishing L.L.C.
Gleason, Henry A.
and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States
and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY
Michael Hough © 2005