Summersweet Clethra, Sweet Pepperbush / Clethra alnifolia
Characteristics: Summersweet Clethra is a deciduous, colony-forming shrub. Leaves are alternate, oblong, 2 to 4 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide and sharply serrated along the margins. Flowers are fragrant, white to whitish-pink, and are borne in erect terminal clusters from late June and through August. Fruit are small brown capsules.
Landscape uses: Summersweet Clethra is an excellent plant for moist areas and almost any soil type. It will grow in full sun to partial shade. Avoid planting it in drought prone sites.
Size: Six to 10 feet high with a spread of 3 to 5 feet.
Zones: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Habitat: Thickets in low, wet areas, bays, bogs, streams, and wet pine savannahs in the Coastal Plain
Native to: Maine to Florida, west to coastal Texas.
Comments: Attracts butterflies. Several cultivars are available.