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CLETHRA alnifolia 'Hummingbird'

Image of Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird'

James H. Schutte

Family

Clethraceae

Botanical Name

CLETHRA alnifolia 'Hummingbird'

Plant Common Name

Coastal Sweetpepperbush, Hummingbird Summersweet, White Summersweet

General Description

Prized for its handsome foliage, compact upright habit, and fuzzy spikes of fragrant flowers, summersweet is a suckering deciduous shrub native to the eastern United States from Maine to Florida. ‘Hummingbird’ is a low-growing selection. In midsummer, its spicy-scented white flowers attract butterflies and bees. Peppercorn-like seed heads follow the flowers, providing winter interest. The leaves turn butter-yellow in fall.

'Hummingbird' needs a moist acid soil with good drainage in full sun to partial shade. It tolerates occasionally wet to soggy soil. Avoid planting it in extremely hot or dry locations. It works well in mixed borders and foundation plantings and as a ground cover.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No