photo of Clethra alnifolia

Clethra alnifolia

Summersweet

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Summersweet is a multi-branched deciduous shrub with dark green, aromatic leaves. It is one of the few summer-flowering shrubs that will bloom in...

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Description:

Summersweet is a multi-branched deciduous shrub with dark green, aromatic leaves. It is one of the few summer-flowering shrubs that will bloom in shade. The sweetly fragrant, white flowers bloom in upright clusters on the tips of stems, July-August. The flowers are followed by dark brown seeds that resemble peppercorns and persist through the winter. Butterflies, hummingbirds, native bees, and honey bees value the nectar, and birds and other wildlife eat the seeds. Use this versatile, attractive, wildlife-friendly shrub in borders, foundation plantings, rain gardens, wildlife gardens, and along edges of ponds or other water features.

Plant Details:

Other Common Names: Coastal Sweet Pepperbush, Clethra

Plant Type: Shrub

New Jersey Native: Yes

Deer Resistance: Some

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Birds

Salt Tolerance: Low to None

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Grows in Special Ecoregions: Barrier Island/Coastal, Pinelands

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic, Sandy

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Medium-drained

Soil pH: Acidic, Slightly Acidic

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Partial Shade

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Well-drained, Medium-drained

Drought Tolerance: Low

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 4 - 8 ft

Spread: 4 - 6 ft

Growth Rate: Medium