The common name for Clethra alnifolia makes perfect sense. Summersweet or sweet pepperbush has the rather unique ability to flower in the shade during the hot summer months when few other native plants are blooming.
While Summersweet can tolerate full sun it thrives in shady gardens with moist soil. This would be a gorgeous addition (or alternative!) to a shady hosta garden, adding in bright white flowers to a typically all-green landscape.
The Summersweet is a compact shrub, and can be kept neatly tamed by removing suckering roots or allowed to freely spread to fill a space. This is an excellent plant for pollinators, serving as the host plant for at least 11 lepidoptera species as well as attracting a large number of native bees.
Source: grown from seed by Pinelands Nursery, New Jersey
Clethra alnifolia (Sweet pepperbush)
SIZE AND POT INFORMATION: More details coming in May type: shrub sun needs: full sun, part sun/part shade, shade water needs: Moist to average soil height: 3-6' can grow to 12' plant spacing: space 3'-5' apart bloom time: July, August bloom color: white, pink
salt tolerant. Some salt exposure should not be fatal to the plant but some leaf burning may still occur. deer resistant (please note that does not mean deer proof)