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This small deciduous shrub is native to Eastern and Southeastern U.S., including Arkansas.
The plant is generally 4' tall by 5' wide with pure white flowers in May through early
July. This plant must be situated in the shade in Arkansas and requires a moist soil
rich in organic matter.
The two most common cultivars in the trade are 'Annabelle' and 'Grandiflora'. Both
were selected for more showy flower-heads (inflorescence). ‘Annabelle’ was found
by the Kirkpatrick family in 1910 and brought back their garden in Anna, IL. The plant
was passed around to fellow gardeners and made its way to the late Dr. J.C. McDaniel
at the University of Illinois. It was introduced to the trade in 1962 and the cultivar
name gives tribute to its origin (Anna, IL). A major shift in our long standing thinking
about this species took place in 2010 when a pink flowered selection called InvincibelleR Spirit
appeared on the market. That was followed by Bella AnnaR in 2011.