Plant Taxonomy of Mt. Airy Dwarf Fothergilla:
Characteristics of Mt. Airy Fothergilla:
Planting Zones for Fothergilla Gardenii:
Sun and Soil Requirements for Mt. Airy Dwarf Fothergilla:
Outstanding Characteristic of Mt. Airy Dwarf Fothergilla:
Uses in Landscaping:
Origin of the Name:
Fothergilla strikes people as a curious name, while gardenii is deceivingly familiar. So let's take a closer look at how the full scientific name (Fothergilla gardenii 'Mount Airy') breaks down.
Surprisingly, the two names share a similar origin -- and neither has anything to do with the characteristics of the plant. Both the genus, Fothergilla and the species, gardenii are named for people -- and both happen to have been physicians! The word gardenii has nothing to do with gardens in this case.
Meanwhile, the cultivar name Mount Airy (or Mt. Airy) derives from the name of the arboretum where the cultivar was discovered.
As noted above, there is some disagreement on how to refer to this fothergilla shrub, in terms of a scientific name. I use Fothergilla gardenii 'Mount Airy,' which may be the most common classification. But you'll also see Fothergilla major 'Mount Airy.' Since the 'Mount Airy' cultivar is a hybrid of Fothergilla gardenii and Fothergilla major, I've even seen Fothergilla gardenii x major 'Mount Airy.'
With such confusion over the correct scientific name, you'll be glad to know that most plant lovers will know what you're talking about if you use the common name "dwarf fothergilla" and/or mention the cultivar name ('Mount Airy').