Fothergilla gardenii (south-eastern North America)
Habit: Small shrub, 0.75-1m tall, 1-1.5 m wide; broadly round; very slow-growing; twigs upright, only 5 cm a year.
Flowers: In masses, 2-5 cm long, like bottle-brushes, cream-white, end of April to mid-May; very strong scent of honey.
Fruits: Brownish, elongated clusters, unpalatable.
Leaves: Asymmetrical, reverse ovoid, pale green, bluish underneath, fantastic bright yellow to brilliant orange and scarlet in October; leaves slightly aromatic.
Roots: Shallow extended, sensitive to compaction and paving; forming short runners.
Demands: Sun to shade; best autumn colours in sunny areas, warm to cool; likes high to extremely high humidity.
Soil: Fresh to damp, acidic to neutral, but tolerates slightly alkaline substrates; peat, humic-sandy-loamy, loamy, failing on heavy soil.
Hardiness: Zone 7a