Summersweet, Sweet Pepperbush
- Broadleaf deciduous shrub, 4-8 ft (1-2.5 m). Leaves, simple, alternate, 4-10 cm long and
2-6 cm wide, acute to short acuminate, cuneate, sharply serrate, usually entire toward base, glossy medium
to dark green. Flowers white, 5-petaled, in upright clusters, 5-15 cm long, appear in mid-summer,
and effective for 4-6 weeks. Fruit are dry capsules, 4 mm, that persist through winter.
- Sun to partial shade. Moist, acid soils, grows naturally in wet places.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native from Maine to Florida and coastal Texas.
A number of cultivars are available (see Dirr, 2009), including
- clethra: from the Greek, klethra, alder. alnifolia, alder-leaved.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: southeast Cordley Hall.