- Deciduous shrub, generally small, 2-3(6) ft (0.6-1 m), dense, rounded outline, occasionally upright. Leaves alternate, simple, obovate to oblong, 2.5-6.5 cm long, blue-green to dark green above, pale or glaucous and tomemtose below. May have excellent fall color (yellow to scarlet). Flowers, which are without petals, have a bottle-brush look, 2.5-5 cm long,
whitish, the stamens are the showy portions (white stamens and yellow anthers), tend to appear before the foliage.
- Sun or part shade. Adaptable, but best in acid, well-drained, moist, soil, with adequate organic matter.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (4)5 A costal plain species that is native to North Carolina to southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle.
- A number of cultivars have been selected, including:
- Blue Mist - commonly available form, mounded growth habit, excellent bluish summer foliage, holds leaves late, fall color is inferior to that of some other selections.
- Harold Epstein - very dwarf form, slow growing, dense, low growing, only 30-40 cm high, spread of about 60 cm; leaves oval, 2.5-6 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, dark green, yellow to orange-red in fall, flowers white, fragrant, 1.5 inch bottlebrush-like in spring. Hardy to USDA Zone 6.
- Jane Platt - was selected in Portland, Oregon; low growing, 45-60 cm tall in 15 years, long lasting fall color of brilliant orange, red, and yellow.
- Mt. Airy - often offered as a form of F. gardenii but actually a selection of F. major (Dirr, 1998).
- gardenii: after Dr. Alexander Garden (1739-91), a Scottish physician and botanist who lived in South Carolina and is credited with its discovery.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: north side of LaSells Stewart Center.