You may have to rack your brains to come up with plant names that start with the letter V. If you quickly think of violets, but then are at a loss to think of others, you are not alone. Plenty of plants begin with the letter V, however, with many of them suitable as landscaping species.
Virgilia (Cladrastis kentukea) occurs in Virginia, as well as Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee. The branches of this medium-sized tree species will start about 6 feet from ground level, notes the University of Connecticut Plant Database, leading to a rounded crown. Featuring compound leaves that change to gold, orange and yellow in autumn, virgilia produces clusters of white flowers as long as 16 inches in late spring. The flowers become interesting seedpods and the bark is showy, with a smooth, gray veneer. Useful as a specimen tree, virgilia prefers full sunshine and damp soil with good drainage.
Hoary vervain (Verbena stricta) is a vervain species named for the whitish hairs on its stems and foliage. Native to North America, it grows as far north as U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 4. Hoary vervain can handle drier, sandy soil types and it produces enough seeds to form small colonies. The flowers occur on upright structures known as panicles. Resembling a pencil, the panicle contains many flowers, but only a few individual bluish-purple flowers open at a time, blooming from the bottom up. Hoary vervain is suitable for wildflower or native plantings.
Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) will grow as far north as New Jersey, but it is primarily a shrub of the southern states in the East, according to the University of Connecticut. Virginia sweetspire has several attractive assets as a shrub for landscaping. The leaves are semi-evergreen in the Deep South, lasting on the twigs until winter. The fall foliage borders on spectacular, with colors including orange, yellow and crimson. Virginia sweetspire grows to 6 feet, with its flowering period in early summer, featuring clusters of aromatic, white blooms. Virginia sweetspire cultivars include Henry's Garnet and Long Spire.
You can use mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), an eastern native shrub, as a foundation plant or hedge. Mapleleaf viburnum is one of the more shade-tolerant viburnum varieties, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. This shrub will attract birds and butterflies with its small, white blossoms and ripe, red fruit. The leaves resemble those of maples, growing to 5 inches long. This shrub's fall foliage provides outstanding color, with purple-red leaves. Hardy to planting zone 3, mapleleaf viburnum does well in moist loam.
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