During June and July this low-growing, rounded shrub is a cloud of white flowers; use it in masses for best affect, as a tall ground cover, or on steep slopes. While the flowers are remarkable on their own, New Jersey tea is a nectar source and a caterpillar and larva host, attracting an array of beautiful butterflies.
"This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research."
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Mixed border
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil,
- Sandy soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Road salt
Season of Interest:
- Early summer,
- Mid summer
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
photo: John Hagstrom
Tree & Plant Care
A low-growing sub-shrub reaching 3 to 4 feet high and wide.
Plants can die back in winter months but return next spring.
Best in Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil.
Drought tolerant once established.
Thick, deep roots make it an excellent choice for rocky hillsides and slopes.
Prune only in summer months.
Disease, pests and problems
Prone to root rot in wet soils and canker disease.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Can tolerate wind.
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Common in prairies, open woods, and savannahs.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate leaves; 2 to 3 inches, ovate, dark green with a toothed margin.
Fragrant foliage when crushed.
Fall color is yellowish.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Terminal clusters of cloud-like white flowers.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
A dry, triangular seed capsule.