The other day I was walking around the garden taking pictures of things I don't recognize. (No, not the bust of the Roman soldier - I remember buying that at a garage sale). This happens to me regularly. I blame it on the birds "dropping" seeds here and there. The bush above was quite a surprise. You can see it's rather large, about 4 feet tall, and I never noticed it before. Of course with the odd weather we've had I really haven't ventured into the back yard more than once or twice this spring, so it's had time to do what it wants.
Here's a close-up of the the bottlebrush-like flower cluster. It's sweet, don't you think? But I had no idea what the plant was. I figured I'd post it here and someone could tell me. I went to bed that night with the TV on. I had been watching HGTV when I fell asleep and the first thing I saw at 6AM was Erica Glasener on "A Gardener's Diary" pointing out a Virginia Sweetspire (itea virginica) that sure looked like my plant. Pretty odd, don't you think?
According to the USDA, this is a southern plant and it doesn't really grow in Colorado. But it looks to me like it could have sneaked in through the Oklahoma panhandle when no one was looking. Here's the USDA's dinky photo of Virginia Sweetspire. So what do you think? Is it the same plant or maybe it's another of those "false" ones? Or maybe it's just serendipity.