Saxapahaw, NC

The Flower of Carolina


  • Product Info

    Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
    Clethra Family

    Sweet Pepperbush is one of our few native shrubs that will bloom in almost total shade. Fragrant blooms are 6” racemes of white, nectar rich flowers, that open slowly over about a month in late summer. All sorts of pollinators can be seen visiting, but is a particular favorite of wasps. Attractive, disease-free leaves are a bright green that turn darker with age. Plants naturally grow in shady, moist woods and swamps. Ideal landscape conditions would be morning summer in rich, moist, soil, but it is adaptable to most conditions with the exception of very dry soils. This shrub will sucker heavily in ideal conditions, and can easily form a low hedge or thicket. Suckers are easily pulled if spreading is not desired.

    Blooms: White, 4-5 weeks, July-August
    Leaves: Dark green, simple, dense from the ground up to flowering stalks
    Space: 3-5’
    Soil: Average-Moist, fertile
    Exposure: Part shade-Part sun-Shade
    Fauna: Bees, wasps, hummingbirds, lepidoptera host plant
    Seeds: Brown capsules are attractive to birds
    Deer Resistance: High
    Zone: 3-9
    Native Status: NC native, common in the Sandhills
    Provenance: NC, seed grown