Shrubs 1–3 m. Stems erect or arching, forming clumps by underground runners, glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Leaves: petiole 3–10 mm; blade elliptic to oblong-oblanceolate, 2–9 × 1–4 cm, margins glandular-serrate to serrulate or minutely denticulate. Racemes arching, 20–80-flowered, 4–15 cm, rachis puberulent. Pedicels 1–3.5 mm, puberulent. Flowers: sepals erect or slightly divergent, narrowly oblong, 0.6–1 mm, apex acute; petals narrowly oblong, 3.5–6 mm; filaments 1–2 mm, pubescent; styles longitudinally grooved. Capsules ± reflexed, cylindric, 0.7–1 cm, styles persistent, pubescent. Seeds 1–1.4 × 0.4–0.9 mm, smooth, shiny. 2n = 22.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–Jun.
Habitat: Swamps, wet woods, stream banks, streamheads, beaver ponds
Elevation: 0-300 m
Ala., Ark., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.C., Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.
Itea virginica is widely cultivated for its showy inflorescences, fragrant flowers, and colorful fall foliage.